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Symptoms of colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because the cancer is very small. Symptoms often appear once a tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as colorectal cancer.
See your doctor if you have these symptoms:
- stool that looks narrower than usual
- feeling like the bowel is not completely empty after a bowel movement
- blood in the stool (it can be bright or very dark red)
- bleeding from the rectum
- gas, cramping, bloating and feeling full
- pain or discomfort in the rectum
- a lump in the abdomen or rectum
- fatigue and weakness
- anemia, which may cause fatigue and shortness of breath
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- blockage in the intestine (called bowel obstruction), which may cause pain in the abdomen
- a tear or hole in the intestine (called bowel perforation), which may cause widespread infection (called sepsis)
- frequent urinary tract infections
- swollen lymph nodes
- enlarged liver (called hepatomegaly)
- jaundice (a condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow and urine is dark yellow)
- buildup of fluid in the abdomen (called ascites)
- pain in the abdomen, buttocks or leg
- breathing problems
How can you stop cancer before it starts?
Discover how 16 factors affect your cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life! Presented in partnership with Desjardins.