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Colorectal Cancer - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as:

  • A change in bowel habits.
  • Bleeding from your rectum, including bright red or dark blood in your stools or stools that look black.
  • Constant or frequent diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely.
  • Stools that are narrow (may be as narrow as a pencil).
  • Belly pain or problems with gas or bloating.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Constant tiredness (fatigue).

Because colorectal cancer often doesn't cause any symptoms, talk with your doctor about screening tests. Screening helps doctors find a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear.

Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) lets the physician look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure is used to diagnose the causes of unexplained blood in the stool or changes in bowel habits. It is also used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy enables the physician to see inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, bleeding, and muscle spasms...

Read the Colonoscopy article > >

Who to see

Health professionals who can evaluate your symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

If your doctor thinks you may have colorectal cancer, he or she may advise you to see a general surgeon or a colorectal surgeon. Colorectal cancer is treated by surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 29, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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