If you or someone that you know has been diagnosed with cancer of the colon, then chances are that you'll be looking for answers regarding the symptoms of colon cancer stages. Colon cancer is a disease that impacts the large intestine – the lower part of the digestive system. Rectal cancer, on the other hand, refers to a cancer that affects the last few inches of the colon. When they come together, most doctors know these diseases as colorectal cancer.
Most types of colon cancer will start out as noncancerous and small clumps of cells that are regarded by experts to be polyps. In some cases, these polyps can progress over time to become colon cancer. The polyps that are produced may be very small, and in certain situations they will only produce very few symptoms if any. Because of this reason, it's important not to rely on the symptoms of colon cancer stages to give you an insight into your disease.
The Typical Symptoms of Colon Cancer:
It's important to know that the symptoms of colon cancer stages can become a lot worse the more severe your disease is. Though the signs of colon cancer can be limited in the early stages, they can cause a great deal of discomfort during later stages when the cancer has begun to spread to lymph nodes and surrounding tissue. Some of the most common indications of colon cancer may include:
– Changes in bowel habits that include frequent constipation or diarrhea, as well as changes in stool consistency that last for a number of weeks.
– Bleeding in the rectum or blood in the stool
– Abdominal discomfort that may include pain, gas, and cramps
– Fatigue and frequent weakness
– Unexplained loss of weight
– Feeling that you cannot completely empty your bowels
Remember that when symptoms do appear they may vary depending on the size and location of the cancer in your intestine. If you notice any symptoms that may be related to colon cancer, you should see your doctor as quickly as possible.
The Stages of Colon Cancer:
If you or your loved one has received a diagnosis of colon cancer, your doctor will ask for tests to be completed that should help to determine the full extent of your cancer. The process of staging will help medical experts to figure out which sort of treatment is best for you. Staging tests can include CT scans, abdominal procedures, and more. In some cases, the stage of your colon cancer may not be be defined until after surgery.
The colon cancer stages are:
– Stage 1, in which the cancer has grown through the superficial lining of the rectum and colon but has not moved beyond the colon or rectum
– Stage 2, in which your cancer has grown through or into the colon or rectum wall but hasn't effected lymph nodes.
– Stage 3, in which your cancer has invaded the lymph nodes nearby but hasn't affected other parts of the body yet
– Stage 4, in which your cancer has spread through to various areas within the body and other organs.