Skip to content

    Colorectal Cancer Health Center

    Colorectal Cancer Overview

    Colon cancer and cancer of the rectum can begin as a small polyp, detectable through regular cancer screening, such as colonoscopy. Colon cancer symptoms include a change in bowel habits or bleeding, but often there are no symptoms. With early detection, surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy can be effective treatment.

    Select a Chapter

    Latest Headlines
    Omega-3 fatty acids from fish may help reduce the risk of dying of colorectal cancer, a study suggests.

    Understanding Colorectal Cancer -- Symptoms

    What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

    In its early stage, colorectal cancer usually produces no symptoms. The most likely warning signs include:

    • Changes in bowel movements, including persistent constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely, an urgency to move the bowels, rectal cramping, or rectal bleeding
    • Dark patches of blood in or on stool; or long, thin, "pencil stools"
    • Abdominal discomfort or bloating
    • Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite, and/or weight loss
    • Pelvic pain, which occurs at later stages of the disease

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
    man with a doctor
    Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    bladder cancer x-ray
    Do you know the warning signs?
     
    bread
    ARTICLE
    Colon vs Rectal Cancer
    VIDEO
     
    New Colorectal Treatments
    VIDEO
    can lack of sleep affect your immune system
    FEATURE
     
    Cancer Facts Quiz
    QUIZ
    Virtual Colonoscopy
    VIDEO
     
    Picture of the Colon
    ANATOMY
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW