Colorectal cancer might not show symptoms right away. Many signs of colorectal cancer can also be from other problems such as infection, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, or inflammatory bowel disease.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it’s essential to get checked. In many cases, people who show these symptoms do not show cancer, but you should contact your doctor so the cause can be found and treated.
- Change in bowel patterns. For example, diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool lasts for more than a few days at a time.
- Feeling of needing to have a bowel movement that does not go away by having one.
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood.
- Blood in the stool, which might make it appear dark brown or black.
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Losing weight without trying
It is best to test for colorectal cancer before ever having any symptoms because often, colorectal cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until it has grown or spread.
How does the doctor know if it’s cancer?
If you are experiencing symptoms that might be caused by colorectal cancer or if screening show somethings isn’t normal, your doctor will want to do more testing to discover the cause.
Your doctor may want you to get more tests such as:
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy test is where a thin tube with a light is inserted through the anus into the rectum to look closely inside.
- Biopsy: A biopsy test is where the doctor takes a small piece of tissue where cancer might be and checks the tissue for cancer cells.
- CT or CAT scan: A CT scan is similar to an x-ray, but the pictures inside your body are more detailed.
- Ultrasound: A ultrasound is where a small wand is moved around your skin. The rod gives off sound waves and picks up echoes as they bounce off tissues. The echos are made into a picture, which helps find cancer and see if it has spread.
- Gene and protein tests: The cancer cells in the biopsy tissue might be tested for genes or proteins such as KRAS, BRAF, MMR, and MSI. Knowing which genes or proteins your cancer has can help the doctor decide the appropriate treatment.
What happens if you have colorectal cancer?
If you have colorectal cancer, treatment options depend on which type of cancer you have, the size, and whether it has spread. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. Many people get more than one type of treatment. Be sure to contact Investigative Clinical Research Annapolis Maryland clinical research studies center. Be sure to visit https://icrmd.com/ or contact them at 410-224-4887.