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Colorectal cancer is dangerous because it can go into hiding for a long time, and symptoms do not appear until the disease reaches a more advanced stage. However, there are symptoms that should alarm you, and there are tests that detect colon cancer even at an early stage.
Colorectal cancer , when diagnosed early, gives a good chance of recovery. That is why it is so important to inform the doctor about disturbing symptoms so that he can refer the patient tocolorectal cancer screening .
Colon cancer - symptoms or what should worry you
- blood in the stool, i.e. positive occult blood test
- rectal bleeding
- sudden and inexplicable change in bowel habits (e.g. sudden onset of diarrhea with simultaneous gas departure)
- constipation caused by a narrowing of the intestine (in advanced cancer, the cancerous tissue can even lead to obstruction of the intestine)
- reshaping the stool
- anemia, decreased fitness, weight loss, increased susceptibility to fatigue, fever
- pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.
Colorectal cancer: diagnostic tests
- You can do the occult blood test yourself at home (you can buy it at any pharmacy), and consult your doctor about the positive result
- digital rectal examination (through the rectum) is one of the basic diagnostic methods - the doctor palpates the condition of the intestinal walls; rectal examination should be a routine procedure during each general medical examination in people over 45 years of age
- colonoscopy - the doctor can use an endoscope to examine the entire length of the large intestine, he can also take a tissue sample for examination and remove any visible adenoma; after the age of 50, you can do this test without a referral (all you need to do is fill in the questionnaire and go with it to the appropriate laboratory)
- contrast infusion consists in taking a series of radiographs of the large intestine after enteral administration (through the anus) of liquid contrast and air (this examination allows you to see the entire colon)
- an anoscopy, i.e. an examination of the anus and the end of the rectum, is performed much less frequently,and rectoscopy (rectal examination).