Symptoms of colorectal cancer may not be immediately evident, or may be attributed to other health issues, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. Still, if a patient is experiencing any of the symptoms associated with cancers of the colon or rectum, he or she should consult with a physician to ensure that cancer is not the culprit.
Many people with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms at all in the earliest stages of the condition. When symptoms do appear, they may vary depending on the size of the tumor or the cancer’s location within the colon or rectum. Some of the symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- A change in bowel habits that lasts more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool
- Bright red or very dark stool coloration, which could indicate the presence of blood
- A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps
- Unintended weight loss
Moffitt Cancer Center is well known for our expertise in diagnosing and treating all forms of cancer, including those that affect the colon and rectum. Within our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, our colorectal experts include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other medical professionals, who work collaboratively on each patient’s case, meeting weekly to develop and assess the progress of an individualized treatment plan for every person under our care. This unique approach, combined with our robust clinical trials program and research efforts, has led the National Cancer Institute to designate us as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only such cancer center based in Florida.
If you or someone you love is interested in learning more about the symptoms of colorectal cancer, call Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-MOFFITT, or fill out our online patient registration form. You don’t need a referral to discuss your case with one of our oncologists specializing in colorectal cancer.