In Singapore, cancer is the number 1 killer across the board, taking an average of 16 lives every day. While there are many different areas of the body that can be affected by the disease, the colorectal variant proves to be among the most difficult to survive. Compromising some of the most basic bodily functions, colorectal cancer takes away more than health – it limits independence which can greatly affect the sufferers’ emotional and mental states. If cancer runs in the family, or if you or a loved one are particularly at risk, be sure to know the symptoms of colorectal cancer so you can get treatment before it complicates.
- Blood in the Stool – Seeing blood can be alarming for anyone, but finding it in stool can be even more so. This could indicate problems, bruising, or tumor growth somewhere along the colorectal region. If blood is fresh and bright, the underlying cause is likely closer to the opening of the anus. If the blood seems dark, old, and brownish, it’s possible that the problem is farther into the colon.
- Anemia – When your body tries to resolve any sort of disease or trauma, it will send more blood cells to the problem area for quick recovery. In the case of cancer where a body is unlikely to be able to resolve the condition on its own, blood cells might diminish throughout the rest of the system. This is what is called anemia – a shortage of red blood cells that ultimately causes unexplained fatigue.
- Constant, Unexplained Stomach Pain – While it’s absolutely normal to experience stomach pain every now and then, constant unexplained pain could be indicative of colorectal cancer. This is because the tumorous growth in the area could be pressing against other organs and causing the development of bruises.
- Unreasonable Weight Loss – The body often works overtime in the presence of cancer in order to maintain functioning at the best possible level. This can cause serious weight loss, as the body burns more energy in an effort to keep all the different organs in working order. If you suspect that you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and at least one of the previous symptoms is also present, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Incontinence – The most inconvenient and independence-limiting symptoms of colorectal cancer is incontinence – the inability to regulate bodily waste. If you find that you’re having difficulty controlling your bowel habits or if you’re having severe difficulty with passing stool, consider a visit to your doctor to determine the cause.
Colorectal cancer can be very inconvenient, painful, and daunting. But with the right preparations and state of mind, you can win over the condition. Watch out for these warning signs and get immediate medical advice if they occur to keep yourself safe from colorectal cancer.