February 26, 2024

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Colon Cancer: Symptoms and stages of colorectal cancer

Colon Cancer: Symptoms and stages of colorectal cancer



Colon Cancer: Symptoms and stages of colorectal cancer. Early colorectal cancer is often asymptomatic, and symptoms only appear with the increase of cancer and the occurrence of complications.

According to reports, patients with colorectal cancer complained of the most symptoms in the first visit (48.6%), especially in patients with rectal cancer, followed by abdominal pain (21.8%), especially in patients with colon cancer.




1. Blood in stool:

It is the earliest and most common manifestation of colon cancer. Mild cases only manifest as occasional bleeding, which can only be known by laboratory tests.

In severe cases, there may be mucus blood in the stool, mucus pus and blood in the stool, or blood in the stool. It is often misdiagnosed as dysentery or hemorrhoid bleeding and delays the diagnosis.

Due to the different parts of the cancer, the amount of bleeding and the characteristics are different, and long-term bleeding can produce secondary anemia.



2. Stomach ache:

Some patients have inaccurately located persistent dull pain as the first or prominent symptoms, and some patients only have abdominal discomfort or bloating.

When colorectal cancer is combined with erosion, obstruction or secondary infection, obvious abdominal cramps may occur due to the corresponding increase in intestinal peristalsis and spasm.

Some patients have typical incomplete intestinal obstructive abdominal pain, that is, the pain is paroxysmal colic, lasting for several minutes, consciously there is gas passing through the pain, followed by gas, and then the pain suddenly disappears. When this symptom appears in In the elderly, colorectal cancer should be considered first.



3. Changes in bowel habits:

Mostly it is the frequency of bowel movements or changes in stool characteristics, such as the original bowel movement once a day, and recently I don’t know why it is 3 to 4 times a day, or that diarrhea and constipation alternately, and the shape of the stool changes, and the stool is soft and formed.

Recently, it suddenly resembles water, and there seems to be blood or pus in it. It is reminded that there may be a problem in the intestines and should be checked in the hospital. (It should be noted that these symptoms are also common in other diseases, so if you have the above symptoms, you should undergo a comprehensive physical examination).

Some people are also accompanied by tenements, especially when it occurs in young people. If there are no other reasons (including travel, changes in living environment, taking oxytetracycline, etc.) and frequent intestinal disorders such as constipation and diarrhea, and regular treatment is still ineffective for more than two weeks, attention should be paid to it, which may be an early sign of colorectal cancer.



4. Anemia:

Male patients, especially those with no other causes of blood loss and no intestinal parasitic infection/disease, should think of the possibility of stomach or colorectal cancer if they are found to have progressive iron deficiency anemia.



The manifestations of advanced colorectal cancer are usually more obvious, such as:


1. Gastrointestinal dysfunction:

Reduced appetite, abdominal discomfort, fullness, constipation, diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation, etc.


2. Symptoms of bowel obstruction:

It is usually the late symptoms of colorectal cancer, mostly low incomplete intestinal obstruction, mainly abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, vomiting, hyperperistalsis, and sometimes intestinal type. Symptoms worsen when the obstruction is complete.


3. Changes in stool characteristics:

Bloody stool is the main symptom of colon cancer. Sometimes it is manifested as intractable constipation and the shape of stool becomes thinner, which is caused by the narrowing of the intestinal cavity caused by cancer of the distal large intestine. It can also be manifested as diarrhea, mushy stool and so on.


4. Abdominal mass:

It is more common in the right abdomen and is one of the manifestations of ascending colon cancer, suggesting that it is nearly advanced. Most of the cancer itself, but it can also be caused by intra-abdominal metastasis or inflammatory infiltration. The occasional masses often indicate incomplete intestinal obstruction.


5. Systemic symptoms:

Patients may have varying degrees of anemia, low-grade fever, progressive weight loss, jaundice, ascites, cachexia and so on.


6. Other symptoms:

  • Co-infection can cause chills and fever;
  • Perforation can cause diffuse or localized peritonitis;
  • Invasion of the urinary system can cause urinary symptoms.

The characteristic symptoms of hepatomegaly, jaundice, ascites, left supraclavicular lymphadenopathy, and other organ metastases can appear in the late stage.

The development of colorectal cancer to the advanced stage can often cause some complications, such as intestinal obstruction, intestinal bleeding or perforation, purulent peritonitis, pericolon abscess, rectal bladder fistula, etc.




Staging of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is divided into four stages Ⅳ. The clinical cure rate for stage Ⅰ patients is about 80%, the cure rate for stage Ⅱ~Ⅲ patients is 60%, and the cure rate for stage Ⅳ patients is only about 20%.

Therefore, early screening should be strengthened to achieve the purpose of early diagnosis and early treatment.



(source:internet, reference only)

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