Monday, October 3, 2022

Does Colon Cancer Cause Stomach Pain

Early Warning Signs Of Colorectal Cancer

Cancer symptom pains – Colon Cancer

Most cancers in the colon or rectum develop from polyps, so screening to find and remove them when they first form helps prevent them from growing into cancers.

If early-stage colorectal cancer does cause symptoms, early warning signs may include sudden weight loss and/or narrow, ribbon-like stools. Other common early warning signs of colorectal cancer include:

  • Rectal bleeding, either bright or dark red in color
  • Narrow stools

How Long Can Bowel Cancer Go Undetected

The development of a bowel cancer from a polyp may take between five and ten years, and early on there may be no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms are bleeding from the bowel, a change in bowel habit, such as unusual episodes of diarrhoea or constipation and an increase in the amount of mucus in the stool.

Changes In Bowel Habits

Changes in bowel habits that can indicate colon or rectal cancer include the following:

  • New-onset constipation or diarrhea

  • Changes in frequency or size and caliber of bowel movements

  • A bowel that doesnt seem to empty completely

  • Stool that is narrower than normal

Occasional bowel changes can be caused by a dietary change, disagreeable food or a viral/bacterial infection. However, if you are experiencing something new and unexplainedand it lasts more than a couple of dayssee your doctor.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Bowel Cancer

The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are blood in the stools , a change in bowel habit, such as more frequent, looser stools, and abdominal pain.

However, these symptoms are very common. Blood in the stools is usually caused by haemorrhoids , and a change in bowel habit or abdominal pain is often the result of something you have eaten.

In the UK, an estimated 7 million people have blood in the stools each year. Even more people have temporary changes in their bowel habits and abdominal pain. Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer.

As the vast majority of people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, these symptoms are more important as people get older. These symptoms are also more significant when they persist in spite of simple treatments.

Most patients with bowel cancer present with one of the following symptom combinations:

  • a persistent change in bowel habit, causing them to go to the toilet more often and pass looser stools, usually together with blood on or in their stools
  • a persistent change in bowel habit without blood in their stools, but with abdominal pain
  • blood in the stools without other haemorrhoid symptoms, such as soreness, discomfort, pain, itching, or a lump hanging down outside the back passage
  • abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always provoked by eating, sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss

The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and don’t necessarily make you feel ill.

What Is Colon Pain

Colon Cancer Screening Methods for Early Detection

Colon pain is any soreness within the colon of the large intestine. It is a symptom of some underlying disease and may occur along with other symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, flatulence and abdominal distention. In most instances it is difficult to attribute pain within the abdomen as arising from any specific organ especially if there are no other symptoms. Colon pain is one such instance and should therefore be investigated as abdominal pain as a whole, preferably localizing the pain to a specific abdominal quadrant or region.

The colon is the longest portion of the large intestine which is located towards the end of the human gut. The large intestine is shorter but wider than the small intestine that precedes it. Most activities that occur within the large intestine like the reabsorption of excess water and storage of waste happens in the colon. The fluid contents of the small intestine pass into the cecum of the large intestine. From here it begins its transit through the different parts of the colon where it is transformed from a liquid mush into the solid yet soft feces that is eventually expelled into the environment. When the colon is diseased, passage of waste obstructed or cannot be emptied from the colon then pain may occur.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer

Early-stage stomach cancer rarely causes symptoms. In countries where screening for stomach cancer is not routine, such as the United States, most stomach cancers arent found until theyve grown fairly large or have spread outside the stomach.

When stomach cancer does cause signs and symptoms, they can include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel
  • Feeling full after eating only a small meal
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Vomiting, with or without blood
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Blood in the stool
  • Feeling tired or weak, as a result of having too few red blood cells
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes , if the cancer spreads to the liver

Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by things other than stomach cancer, such as a viral infection or an ulcer. Some of these symptoms may also be caused by other types of cancer. But people who have any of these problems, especially if they dont go away or get worse, should see a doctor so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Ku GY, Ilson DH. Chapter 72: Cancer of the Stomach. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloffs Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier 2020.

Does The Abdominal Pain From Colon Cancer Have Any Resemblance To That Associated With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Colon cancer with abdominal pain suggests advance stage cancer, says Pankaj Vashi, MD, Lead National Medical Director, National Director, Gastroenterology/Nutrition/Metabolic Support, Cancer Centers Treatment of America.

Dr. Vashi explains: The symptoms are more acute with other coexisting warning signs like weight loss, blood in the stool, change in bowel habits.

And loss of appetite vs. IBS related pain is a very chronic condition, usually in females, and the symptoms are present for years, usually starting at a younger age with NO associated warning signs.

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Symptoms Of Advanced Bowel Cancer

Advanced bowel cancer is cancer that started in either the back passage or large bowel and has spread to another part of the body.

The symptoms of advanced bowel cancer can include the symptoms for bowel cancer that hasn’t spread. Other symptoms depend on which part of the body the cancer has spread to.

It might not mean that you have advanced cancer if you have the symptoms described below. They can be caused by other conditions.

Does Colon Cancer Cause Abdominal Pain

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

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What Are The Risk Factors For Colon Cancer

The risk factors for colon cancer include

  • Age: The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. According to CDC, more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years of age or older.
  • Family history: People who have a family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer may have a higher risk than those without a positive family history. A disease called âfamilial polyposis coliâ and other rare diseases such as Cowden syndrome and PeutzâJeggers syndrome may cause bowel cancer in multiple members of a family.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease : IBD, including Crohnâs disease and ulcerative colitis, may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese: Individuals who are overweight or obese may be more likely to get colorectal cancer.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Unhealthy diet: A diet rich in processed meats, fatty or fried foods and deficient in fiber may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Alcohol: The risk of colorectal cancer may be increased because of alcohol consumption.
  • Tobacco: Consumption of tobacco may increase the risk of various cancers including colon cancer.
  • History of other cancers: A personal history of other cancers such as cancer of the breast, uterus or ovaries may increase the risk of colon cancer.

More On Abdominal Cramps And Ibs

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common GI disorder characterized predominantly by abdominal pain, that is associated with a change in stool habits either constipation, diarrhea or a combination of both, explains Nnenna C. Okpara, MD, gastroenterologist and director of endoscopy at the Center for Womens Gastrointestinal Health, Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI.

The pain tends to improve after bowel movements, she continues.

IBS symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, and can have significant impact on the affected individuals quality of life.

Nonetheless, it remains an overall benign disease it does not cause cancer and is not linked to any decrease in length of life.

Though the single most common symptom in irritable bowel syndrome is abdominal pain, a fair proportion of IBS sufferers also complain of other pain patterns and locations the most common of these being pelvic pain, headache, non-cardiac chest pain.

Make sure that any chest discomfort is not the result of cardiac issues before attributing it to IBS or GERD. This will require seeing a cardiologist.

However, chest pain that changes with an alteration in body position, especially if a shift in position relieves it, probably isnt heart related.

For 20 years Dr. Vashi was instrumental in developing robust gastroenterology, and nutrition and metabolic support programs in all five Cancer Treatment Centers of America centers.

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Persistent Abdominal Painor Discomfort

Abdominal pain and discomfort such as cramping,bloating, and gas pain that consistently get worse may be a sign of coloncancer. Although there could be a benign cause to these sensations, you shouldschedule an appointment with your doctor if the pain and discomfort youexperience are persistent. Since the colon is part of the digestive system,cancer in this area can create changes in the way your abdomen feels on aday-to-day basis.

Are Your Symptoms Ibs Or Colorectal Cancer

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Colorectal cancer shares some symptoms with a less serious, but much more common disease: irritable bowel syndrome . So how do you know if your symptoms are cancer, IBS or something else?

We talked to David Richards, M.D., about the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer, and what action you should take if you are experiencing either.

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS can be hard to diagnose. Its not something a doctor can see, feel or detect under a microscope, and the symptoms come and go. The main symptoms of IBS are constipation, diarrhea or a combination of the two, accompanied by abdominal pain.

Someone with IBS may also experience one or more of the following:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • The feeling that you havent finished a bowel movement
  • Relief of symptoms after a bowel movement

You can gauge whether these are IBS symptoms based on how long youve had them. The symptoms have to go back at least six months, with at least one day a week of pain in the last three months, Richards says.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain are all symptoms of colorectal cancer. However, there are additional symptoms that are more concerning.

Sudden and unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool are all cause for concern, says Richards.

Other colorectal cancer symptoms include:

I would be especially concerned if these symptoms came on suddenly, says Richards.

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Do Colon Cancer Symptoms Come On Suddenly

Colon cancer can develop in any part of your colon, while rectal cancer affects your rectum, which connects the colon to the anus. Frequent diarrhea and constipation may be symptoms of cancer, particularly if these bowel changes come on suddenly. These problems also may occur with frequent gas and abdominal pain.

Where Is The Bowel Located In The Female Body

The colon is about 5 feet long and circles the abdomen up the right side, across, and down the left side. It then descends into the lowest part of the colon, or the rectum. The rectum connects to the anus, which is the opening from which stools leave the body. The colon contracts as it moves digested food and waste.

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Feeling Bloated Or A Feeling Of Discomfort Or Persistent Urge To Have A Bowel Movement

The constant feeling that you need to have a bowel movement and the feeling is not relieved by having one could indicate changes in your colon preventing a complete bowel evacuation or the feeling of stool remaining even if the bowel is empty. Contact your physician to be evaluated and determine the cause.

Unreasonable Gradual Weight Loss

When Stomach Pains Lead to a Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Unexplained and sudden weight loss is a more frequently observed symptom in women who have colorectal cancer. When you feel a sudden, gradual weight loss, you need to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider immediately when you are not even trying to lose weight. It can be the early signs of colorectal cancer or other diseases that must be cured.

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Colon Cancer Pain Colorectal Cancer Pain

Many people with colorectal cancer do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they may vary depending on the size and location of the cancer in your colon.

Persistent abdominal discomfort, cramps, gas or pain are some common symptoms of the colon cancer. In fact, abdominal pain is the most common symptom of colon cancer.

Pain is usually accompanied with bleeding and a decrease in the quantity of stools, change in bowel habits. Acute large intestine obstruction may cause progressive abdominal distention, pain, vomiting and constipation.

The colon cancer pain symptoms are unique for every patient. Therefore, your doctor will prepare your pain management plan that is most suitable for your individual case.

Managing Colon Cancer And Potential Pain

When we talk about managing colon cancer, we need to consider more than the basic treatment options. Managing colon cancer should include:

  • Treatments for the cancer
  • Pain management strategies
  • Mental health and well being

Treatment for colon cancer will depend on the individual and on the stage of the cancer.

  • In localized colon cancer, doctors are likely to recommend localized treatments such as, surgery, ablation, and radiation.
  • In regional colon cancer, doctors often recommend surgery, with the potential use of adjuvant chemotherapy, depending on the individual. In some more advanced cases of regional cancer, the tumor is too large to remove by surgery. In this case, radiation may first be used to shrink the tumor, before surgically removing the cancer.
  • In distance colon cancer, chemotherapy is nearly always recommended. In distance colon cancer, the cancer often spreads to the liver or lungs. If the spread is not too great, surgery may still be used. Ablation or embolization may also be used.

The treatments for colon cancer, can cause their own symptoms, a primary one being pain, explains Dr. Ali.

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Colon Cancer Can Cause Abdominal Pain But Does It Always

When I say pain, I dont mean cramps.

Theres a difference between abdominal pain and abdominal cramps. Abdominal pain can result from colon cancer.

But have you wondered, however, if in every case of colon cancer thats gone untreated long enough to produce symptoms, if abdominal pain is always one of the resulting symptoms?

Remember, for polyps and early cancers, the hallmark symptom is the absence of symptoms this is why getting screened at age recommendations while asymptomatic is so important, explains gastroenterologist Whitney Jones, MD, a national expert and frequent speaker on early-age onset colon cancer prevention, and Founder, Colon Cancer Prevention Project.

How Do I Know If I Have Hemorrhoids Or Cancer

IBS Abdominal Pain: Treating IBS signs and symptoms

Its important to see a doctor if you experience rectal bleeding. Though hemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding, they can also be a sign of cancer. A doctor can perform a physical examination, which will likely include a digital rectal exam, to confirm hemorrhoids and rule out more serious conditions.

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What Exactly Is Colon Cancer And How Does It Cause Pain

Colon cancer begins as small, non-cancerous clumps called polyps, which often produce no symptoms. Some of these polyps may become cancerous and can grow into the wall of the colon. Colorectal cancer begins in the innermost layer and can grow outward, effecting other layers of the colon. If undetected, the cancer can metastasize to other parts of the body.

The pain experienced with colon cancer is not always identified as a typical pain sensation, explains Imran Ali, MD, MS, MPH, and physician Fellow in Palliative Care/Geriatric Supportive Oncology training at NYC VA System/Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Colon cancer typically presents as a dull belly ache, if anything at all, Dr. Ali says. In the more advanced stages of colon cancer, the pain may feel cramp-like or similar to bloat. Pain that is persistent and severe can be a sign of colon cancer and should never be overlooked. If you are experiencing new abdominal discomfort that is persistent, it is important to request colon cancer screening.

Changes in bowel habits can be warning signs of colon cancer. Diarrhea, constipation, and changes in the consistency of stool should not be ignored. Sometimes we dismiss our own pain as discomfort, but how we defecate can tell us a lot about our health. Blood in the stool, fatigue, and unintended weight loss can also be early signs of colon cancer.

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