Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Bones
You may have any of these symptoms if your cancer has spread to the bones:
- an ache or pain in the affected bone
- a weakened bone which is more prone to break or fracture
Sometimes when bones are damaged by advanced cancer, the bones release calcium into the blood. This is called hypercalcaemia and can cause various symptoms such as:
Common Symptoms Of Both Conditions
Unfortunately, there are some symptoms associated with both IBS and colon cancer, and indications that you might have colon cancer often show up later than IBS. That fact makes it all the more important to know the difference.
Some of the common indications of both conditions include cramps, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, along with noticeable changes in a persons bowel habits. These symptoms could be signs of either condition, which is why all people are advised to complete regular screenings for colon cancer.
Diagnosis Screening And Monitoring
Endoscopic image of identified in sigmoid colon on screening colonoscopy in the setting of Crohns disease.Colorectal cancer can take many years to develop and early detection of colorectal cancer greatly improves the chances of a cure. Therefore, screening for the disease is recommended in individuals who are at increased risk. There are several different tests available for this purpose.
- Digital rectal exam : The doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal areas. It only detects tumors large enough to be felt in the distal part of the rectum and is not really a screening test.
- Fecal occult blood test : a test for blood in the stool.
- Sigmoidoscopy: A lighted probe is inserted into the rectum and lower colon to check for polyps and other abnormalities.
- Colonoscopy: A lighted probe called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and the entire colon to look for polyps and other abnormalities that may be caused by cancer. A colonoscopy has the advantage that if polyps are found during the procedure they can be immediately removed. Tissue can also be taken for biopsy.
In the United States, colonoscopy or FOBT plus sigmoidoscopy are the preferred screening options.
Other screening methods
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
While many people have heard that having blood in their stools may be a sign of colon cancer, just about any change in your bowel habits is worth evaluating. While you may be anxious about the possibility of having colon cancer, early diagnosis offers you the best opportunity for successful treatment. There is a possibility that something else entirely is going onsomething less serious than cancer.
Colon Cancer Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
Heartburn And Cancer: Is There A Connection
Heartburn is the result of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, a tube in your throat that moves food from the mouth to the stomach. Heartburn sufferers describe the condition as a burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone. It’s often worse when lying down or bending over, and usually occurs at night or after eating. When heartburn persists and interferes in your normal routine, physicians call it gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. GERD can damage your esophagus and cause serious complications, such as esophageal cancer.
The good news is that esophageal cancer is rare. The bad news is the incidence of esophageal cancer is on the rise, and oncologists usually don’t diagnose it until it’s at an advanced stage when it’s difficult to treat. GERD and a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus are the only known risk factors for esophageal cancer.
Barrett’s Esophagus occurs when repeated exposure to stomach acid damages the cells in the lower esophagus. You’ll usually find this condition in people who have had GERD for 10 or more years. Only a small number of people with Barrett’s Esophagus will go on to develop esophageal cancer. To date, there’s no evidence that current treatment options for Barrett’s Esophagus, including radiofrequency ablation and antireflux surgery, reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.
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Colon Cancer Symptoms In Women
Look out for these symptoms of colon cancer in women. Keep in mind that colorectal cancer may cause no symptoms at all, especially in the early stages.
Anemia is when you have a low red blood cell count. In colon cancer, it can mean that there is internal bleeding. It’s often one of the initial signs of colorectal cancer.
You can imagine the extra layer of complexity if you are a woman. “Some female patients are told that their anemia is related to their menstrual period and that they shouldn’t worry about it,” says Dr. Suarez. That can lead to a delay in diagnosis.
If you are a woman with anemia and treatment with iron supplements does not address the issue, ask your doctor about colorectal cancer screening. There are several tests for colorectal cancer, including colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, a doctor examines the entire colon with an endoscope, a thin, flexible instrument with a light and camera, for signs of cancer.
The first thing people think of when they notice blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper post-wiping is hemorrhoids, which are bulging, swollen veins in your rectum that can itch and bleed. “Rectal bleeding is not normal,” says Dr. Suarez. “It can definitely be hemorrhoids, but the only way to know for sure is by an exam.”
Change in bowel habits
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Cramping or abdominal pain
Unexplained fatigue or weight loss
Your Doctor Keeps Treating You For Irritable Bowel Syndrome But Something Still Feels Off
The symptoms of IBSand inflammatory bowel disease , for that mattercan often have similar symptoms to colorectal cancer . But if you’re being treated for IBS and your symptoms aren’t clearing up, it’s important to address those concerns with your doctor.
The bottom line: You know your body better than anyone else. Be in tune with it and speak up if you feel like something is off, or your doctor is treating you for the wrong condition.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Earlier is better! Colon and rectal cancer symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms.
Since the early signs of cancer often do not include pain, it is important not to wait and see your doctor soon. Remember, early detection can save your life.
When it comes to colorectal cancer, the most common symptom is NO symptom, which is why we call it the silent killer. If youre 50, average risk, get screened! #tomorrowcantwait
Symptoms Of Colon Cancer In Women
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Although it is slightly more common in men, 1 in every 24 women will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer at some point in her life.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer in women? Early-stage colon cancer seldom causes any clear or obvious symptoms, so it is very important to know the warning signs, such as:
- Change in bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating or discomfort
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained anemia
Many of these symptoms can be caused by something other cancer, such as a poor diet, a viral infection, hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome. Get to know your body well so that you can report any changes in your health to your physician, particularly if any of these symptoms last longer than 1 month.
Take our Screening Assessment
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Nausea And Vomiting As Symptoms Of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer usually starts to occur with the development of non-cancerous polyps. These polyps develop when the cells lining the colon multiply too quickly. Then, the polyps will be cancerous that will invade the wall of the colon as well as the blood vessels surrounding it, and spreads to other areas of the body.
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Colon cancer can develop through the years before it causes any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they will depend on the size and location of cancer in the colon. Symptoms start to appear when the cancer is already in its advanced stage.
The right side of the colon is spacious thus, cancers that develop in the right colon can increase to large sizes before causing any abdominal symptoms. On the other hand, the left part of the colon is narrower. Therefore, cancers on this region are more likely to produce partial or complete bowel obstruction.
Causes Of Bowel Cancer
Cancer occurs when the cells in a certain area of your body divide and multiply too rapidly. This produces a lump of tissue known as a tumour.
Most cases of bowel cancer first develop inside clumps of cells on the inner lining of the bowel. These clumps are known as polyps. However, if you develop polyps, it does not necessarily mean you will get bowel cancer.
Exactly what causes cancer to develop inside the bowel is still unknown. However, research has shown several factors may make you more likely to develop it. These factors are outlined below.
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You’re Always Dealing With Cramps Or Bloating
It’s normal to feel full or bloated after a big meal, but if you constantly feel like your stomach never empties out all the way , it’s time to see your doctor or a gastroenterologist, says Cohen.
This also goes for chronic, abdominal discomfort like bloating, cramps, or gas. If the pains are unfamiliar to you, your M.D. will want to know, says Ganjhu.
Symptoms Of Advanced Bowel Cancer
Advanced bowel cancer is cancer that started in either the back passage or large bowel and has spread to another part of the body.
The symptoms of advanced bowel cancer can include the symptoms for bowel cancer that hasn’t spread. Other symptoms depend on which part of the body the cancer has spread to.
It might not mean that you have advanced cancer if you have the symptoms described below. They can be caused by other conditions.
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You Can’t Kick Your Chronic Acid Reflux
“Chronic” is the key word here, so don’t freak if you get a little burning after you load up on salsa. But, if you regularly suffer from reflux, and over-the-counter or prescription acid reducers dont seem to be making a dent, talk with your health-care provider. A tumor could be causing a blockage and increasing acid back-up, says Cohen.
Can Ibs Lead To Colon Cancer
IBS, with all its discomforts and inconveniences, doesnt cause damage to your digestive tract or lead to other health problems.
A 2010 trial found that when undergoing colonoscopy, people with IBS were no more likely to have structural abnormalities of the colon than healthy people.
They also found that people with IBS are at no greater risk of precancerous polyps or colon cancer.
Seek the advice of a doctor if you have any concerns about abdominal discomfort or changes in bowel habits. Symptoms of IBS can also indicate a variety of other conditions, including colon cancer.
Other signs that you should see a doctor right away include:
- persistent abdominal pain
- weight loss
Having IBS doesnt increase your risk of colon cancer, but that doesnt mean you should ignore symptoms. To be on the safe side, tell your doctor about new symptoms such as rectal bleeding, narrowed stool, or weight loss.
Talk to your doctor about colon cancer screening. For most people, colonoscopy screening should begin at age 50.
If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screening.
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Frequent Gas And Bloating
If gas and bloating are associated with cramps and a feeling of fullness, this can be one of the 6 colon cancer warning signs. According to John Hopkins, most people pass gas about 14 times a day. Any type of obstruction in the colon, like a tumor, can disrupt your ability to pass gas causing these symptoms.
How To Spot Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer
Now is the time to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, not including skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined.
According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, on average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women.
While the risk of developing colon cancer increases with age, the incidence of colon cancer is rising up to 2% annually for people under the age of 50, as well. Research conducted by the American Cancer Society has also found that people younger than age 55 developing colorectal cancer are 58% more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage disease than older adults, making curative treatment less likely for them. This dramatic rise in colon cancer incidence in younger individuals prompted the American Cancer Society to now recommend that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 for average risk adults.Individuals with a family history of colon cancer should speak to their physicians about beginning screening at even a younger age in some instances, based on the age their affected family members were diagnosed.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn
A good indicator of heartburn is the feeling of warmth or burning in the chest or throat. You could also feel indigestion or a foul, acid taste in your mouth.
If you experience additional symptoms, such as nausea, lightheadedness, and arm discomfort, this could be a sign of a heart attack, and you should immediately seek medical care.
Abdominal Pain And Bloating
Stomach bloating, distention, cramps or pain in the abdominal or bowel region can be symptoms of colon or rectal cancer. These are common issues that can also be caused by a number of conditions, including diet-related gastrointestinal distress, Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis. See your doctor if you experience frequent abdominal pain and bloating that does not have an obvious cause.
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‘i Felt A Chronic Hangover’
“I remember at Christmas my brothers thinking it was funny that I would constantly drop my beer bottle because my fingers would twitch from the nerve damage,” he said.
The 39-year-old is now cancer-free but said he’ll continue having colonoscopies once a year to keep tabs on his stomach health.
“It’s been a weird journey and an array of unexpected emotions,” Matt said.
“I’ve never felt so much support in my life and I am truly grateful to every friend and family member.”
Matt says it’s important young men overcome their discomfort about seeing a doctor and discussing health concerns with friends.
“There’s still such awkwardness,” he said.
“I try to lighten the mood and tell them a joke I came up with, which is ‘When I found out I had bowel cancer, I was gutted.’ The response is always the same, only YOU can tell that joke!”
Colorectal Cancer Signs And Symptoms
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these symptoms:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that’s not relieved by having one
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Blood in the stool, which might make the stool look dark brown or black
- Cramping or abdominal pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker, but often the stool looks normal. But over time, the blood loss can build up and can lead to low red blood cell counts . Sometimes the first sign of colorectal cancer is a blood test showing a low red blood cell count.
Some people may have signs that the cancer has spread to the liver with a large liver felt on exam, jaundice , or trouble breathing from cancer spread to the lungs.
Many of these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, or irritable bowel syndrome. Still, if you have any of these problems, its important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed. See Tests to Diagnose Colorectal Cancer.
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How Does Excessive Belching Help Diagnose Cancer
When you experience excessive belching with other worrisome symptoms, it can be helpful in diagnosing more serious conditions like cancer. Remember, excessive belching as a single symptom doesnt necessarily mean cancer is present.
In order to diagnose conditions related to excessive belching , your doctor may order the following tests:
- CT scan. A CT scan is a type of imaging that takes cross-sectional pictures of a particular area of the body. In an abdominal CT scan, you are able to see all the organs in your abdominal area.
- Endoscopy. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube into your mouth and down your esophagus while youre sedated. The doctor can then see into your stomach and can take biopsies if needed.
- Barium swallow study. This special type of X-ray is taken after you drink barium, which lights up certain areas of your GI tract.
Treatment for excessive belching will depend on the cause. When belching is caused by something thats not serious, lifestyle changes are often all that is needed to get rid of it. These changes can include:
- taking a walk after eating
- avoiding carbonated beverages and chewing gum
- trying to eat and drink more slowly
If your excessive belching is related to a cancer diagnosis, treatments may include: