What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
Dr. Chirag Patel answers the question:
What are the signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer?
“The most common signs and symptoms for colon cancer include blood in the stool, weight loss, changes in your bowel habits like diarrhea or constipation, and unexplained abdominal pain. Those are probably the most common signs or symptoms that you should present to a gastroenterologist for referral for a colonoscopy.
Before that, you can catch a cancer early on by performing colon cancer screening, and what does that entail? So there are multiple different modalities in which you can get screened for colon cancer and those include obviously a colonoscopy, which is the gold standard for screening for colon cancer. The reason it is the gold standard is because you can detect pre-cancerous lesions that are polyps. Polyps are little growths along the lining of your colon, your intestinal tract, that can grow over time and have the potential to turn into colon cancer in the future. When you have a colonoscopy and we catch those early on, we have the opportunity to reset those during your procedure.
The other options for colon cancer screening include a stool-based testing, specialized CT scans. You can have a partial colonoscopy called a flexible sigmoidoscopy, and those are probably the other most common tests that are used for screening. The limitations to those obviously include that if any of those are positive, you’d likely end up with a colonoscopy to further evaluate a positive test among those anyway.”