It is important to remember that very often there are no symptoms of colorectal cancer until the cancer is advanced. This is why it is important to begin and maintain a program of regular screening as recommended by your doctor. Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood, either bright red, or black and tarry, in the stool
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • General abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constant feeling of fatigue or tiredness

Revision Information

  • Colon and rectal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/colon-and-rectal. Accessed May 14, 2013.

  • Colorectal cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003096-pdf.pdf. Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2013.

  • Colorectal cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated May 3, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2013.