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Unusual Signs Of Colon Cancer Women Ignore For Years

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon). It typically affects older adults, but it can occur at any age. Signs of colon cancer often starts as small, benign clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers.

One of the major challenges with colon cancer is that its early signs can be subtle and easily ignored. Women, in particular, may overlook symptoms because they can be mistaken for less serious health issues. Understanding these unusual signs of colon cancer is crucial for early detection and treatment. This article will explore the uncommon symptoms of colon cancer that women often ignore, providing valuable information to help you stay vigilant about your health.

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Unusual Signs of Colon Cancer Women Ignore for Years

Discover the unusual signs of colon cancer that women often ignore. Also, learn about symptoms, preventive measures, and the importance of early detection in this comprehensive guide on ‘Feel For Health’.

1. Persistent Abdominal Discomfort

Abdominal discomfort that doesn’t go away, including cramps, gas, or pain, can be a warning sign of colon cancer. Women might mistake these symptoms for menstrual cramps, digestive issues, or other benign conditions. However, if you notice persistent pain or discomfort that lasts for more than a few weeks, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider.

2. Changes in Bowel Habits

Alterations in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or a change in stool consistency, can indicate colon cancer. Women may dismiss these changes as related to diet, stress, or other gastrointestinal disorders. Pay attention to any persistent changes, particularly if they last more than a few days.

3. Rectal Bleeding or Blood in Stool

Seeing blood in your stool can be alarming. While it might be caused by hemorrhoids or anal fissures, it can also be a symptom of colon cancer. Women sometimes attribute rectal bleeding to menstruation or hemorrhoids without seeking further evaluation. If you notice blood in your stool, it’s crucial to see a doctor.

4. Unexplained Weight Loss

Losing weight without trying can be a sign of several cancers, including colon cancer. Women often overlook this symptom, attributing weight loss to lifestyle changes, stress, or diet. If you experience significant weight loss without a clear reason, it’s essential to get it checked out.

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5. Fatigue and Weakness

Feeling extremely tired and weak, even after a full night’s sleep, can be an indicator of colon cancer. This fatigue is often due to internal blood loss that you may not be aware of. Women might dismiss this as a result of their busy lives, lack of sleep, or other health issues. Persistent fatigue warrants a visit to the doctor.

6. Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Colon cancer can cause chronic bleeding in the colon, leading to iron-deficiency anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin. Women, especially those of childbearing age, might overlook these symptoms, assuming they are related to menstrual cycles. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to get a blood test.

7. Narrow or Ribbon-Like Stools

Changes in the shape of your stool can be a sign of colon cancer. Narrow, ribbon-like stools can indicate a blockage in the colon. Women may dismiss this symptom as a minor digestive issue. If you notice a persistent change in stool shape, seek medical advice.

8. Feeling That Your Bowel Doesn’t Empty Completely

If you frequently feel that your bowel doesn’t empty completely after a bowel movement, it can be a symptom of colon cancer. This sensation might be overlooked or attributed to other digestive issues by women. Persistent feelings of incomplete evacuation should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

9. Chronic Nausea or Vomiting

Persistent nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of colon cancer, especially if they are accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms. Women might mistake these symptoms for food poisoning, stomach flu, or other temporary illnesses. Chronic nausea or vomiting should be investigated further.

10. Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain can sometimes be associated with advanced stages of colon cancer. Women often attribute pelvic pain to gynecological issues, such as ovarian cysts or menstrual cramps. Persistent pelvic pain that doesn’t resolve should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

11. Unexplained Back Pain

Back pain, particularly in the lower back, can be a sign of colon cancer if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Women may attribute back pain to physical activity, poor posture, or other non-cancerous causes. If you experience unexplained and persistent back pain, seek medical attention.

12. Unusual Bloating and Gas

While bloating and gas are common digestive issues, persistent or unusual bloating can be a symptom of colon cancer. Women may dismiss this symptom as a result of dietary choices or hormonal changes. If you notice persistent bloating that doesn’t resolve, it’s important to consult a doctor.

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13. Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Frequent UTIs can sometimes be linked to colon cancer, especially if the cancer is pressing on the bladder. Women might overlook this connection, attributing frequent UTIs to hygiene issues or other non-cancerous causes. If you have recurrent UTIs, it’s worth discussing with your healthcare provider.

14. Unusual Appetite Changes

A sudden change in appetite, either increased or decreased, can be a symptom of colon cancer. Women may attribute these changes to stress, diet, or other lifestyle factors. Persistent appetite changes should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

15. Persistent Heartburn or Indigestion

Chronic heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t respond to typical treatments can be a sign of colon cancer. Women might dismiss these symptoms as common digestive issues. If you experience persistent heartburn or indigestion, it’s important to seek medical advice.

16. Skin Changes

Although less common, colon cancer can sometimes cause skin changes, such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice) if the cancer has spread to the liver. Women may overlook these changes, attributing them to other health issues. Any unusual skin changes should be investigated by a healthcare provider.

17. Swelling in the Abdomen

Swelling or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen can be a sign of colon cancer. Women might dismiss this symptom as bloating or weight gain. Persistent abdominal swelling should be evaluated by a doctor.

18. Shortness of Breath

Unexplained shortness of breath can be a symptom of advanced colon cancer, especially if it has spread to the lungs. Women may overlook this symptom, attributing it to other health issues or lack of fitness. If you experience persistent shortness of breath, seek medical attention.

19. Persistent Cough

A persistent cough can sometimes be a symptom of colon cancer if it has metastasized to the lungs. Women might dismiss this as a common cold or allergy. If you have a chronic cough that doesn’t go away, it’s important to get it checked out.

20. Vision Changes

Although rare, colon cancer can cause vision changes if it spreads to the brain. Women may overlook this symptom, attributing it to eye strain or other non-cancerous causes. Any unexplained vision changes should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

21. Neurological Symptoms

In advanced cases, colon cancer can cause neurological symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, or seizures, if it spreads to the brain. Women might dismiss these symptoms as unrelated to colon cancer. If you experience unexplained neurological symptoms, seek medical attention.

Preventive Measures and Screening

Early detection of colon cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. Here are some preventive measures and screening options:

  • Regular Screenings: Colonoscopy is the most effective screening method for colon cancer. It’s recommended for women starting at age 50, or earlier if there is a family history of the disease.
  • Healthy Diet: A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats, can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  • Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are risk factors for colon cancer. Avoiding these can help reduce your risk.
  • Know Your Family History: If you have a family history of colon cancer, discuss it with your doctor. You may need to start screenings earlier.

Conclusion

Colon cancer is a serious disease, but it is often treatable when caught early. Women need to be aware of the unusual signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked. By paying attention to your body and seeking medical advice when you notice persistent changes, you can increase the chances of early detection and successful treatment.

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Don’t ignore the signs of colon cancer. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and take proactive steps to protect your health. If you experience any of the symptoms discussed in this article, consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation. Remember, early detection can save lives.

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Written by Emma Smith

Hi there fellow, I'm Emma Smith, a passionate health and lifestyle enthusiast based in New York City. As the Founder and CEO of 'Feel for Health,' a dedicated platform for women's health, fitness, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, I aim to inspire and empower women to lead healthier, happier lives. With a wealth of knowledge and a friendly, approachable style, I provide insightful tips and expert advice on everything from nutrition and exercise to skincare and fashion trends. Follow me on my journey to bring holistic well-being to women everywhere.

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