Colon cancer is a major health problem in the United States, and one of the best ways to detect it is through a colonoscopy. This non-invasive test uses a long, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end to examine the colon. If cells are appearing abnormal, they can be tested for colon cancer. When diagnosed early, this cancer is highly treatable.
Colon cancer screening can often be lifesaving. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. If you are experiencing any of these vital signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible:
1. Blood in the Stool
Although it may be alarming to see blood in your stool, it does not necessarily mean you have colon cancer. Instead, this could be a sign of hemorrhoids or even something as simple as constipation. That being said, bright red blood that looks fresh should always be brought to the attention of your doctor. If you see blood that looks like dried coffee grounds, it is more likely to be signs of your digestive tract beginning to break down. This is even more reason to visit the doctor for colon cancer testing.
2. Rectal Bleeding
Similar to seeing blood in stool, rectal bleeding can also indicate hemorrhoids or other common bowel issues. However, rectal bleeding is typically more serious than seeing blood in the stool. So, if you are experiencing blood on your rectum, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately for colon cancer screening.
3. Unexplained Weight Loss
Though developing cancer isn't the only reason people lose weight, unexplained weight loss is a major warning sign. Most cancer patients experience significant weight loss during the course of their illness, and for this reason, many doctors recommend that patients be tested early on. If you have been having trouble keeping food down or find yourself constantly hungry yet never gaining weight, there might be a problem in your stomach or colon.
4. Frequent Gas
Constipation is normal for some people, but frequent gas might be something to worry about. If excess flatulence or bloating occurs more than just occasionally, it might be a sign that you're not digesting food properly. If this is the case, it's time to talk with your doctor about colon cancer screening and testing options.
The Bottom Line
Colon cancer is among the most popular types of cancer in the United States, but early examinations make it very treatable, especially when caught at stages I and II. Make an appointment with a medical center, such as Gastro Health, today for a colon cancer screening, and then take the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy.