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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

Sigmoidoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Sigmoidoscopy (SIG-moy-DAH-skuh-pee) enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid colon. Physicians may use this procedure to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or constipation. They also use sigmoidoscopy to look for early signs of colorectal cancer in the colon and rectum. With sigmoidoscopy, the physician can see bleeding, inflammation, abnormal growths, and ulcers. For the procedure, you will...

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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    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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