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    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.

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    Up to 40% of people who should get a test for colon cancer aren’t doing so.That’s one of the reasons why some doctors are encouraged by Cologuard, a new at-home test for colon cancer.

    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

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