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Signs and symptoms

It’s important to get screened before you have any symptoms of colon cancer. If, however, you have some of the symptoms below, check in with your healthcare provider:

  • a change in bowel habits (going to the bathroom more or less)
  • blood in your stool (either bright red or very dark)
  • diarrhea, constipation or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • stools that are narrower than usual
  • general abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps)
  • unexplained weight loss
  • feeling very tired
  • vomiting

Often, people with colon cancer don’t have any of these symptoms. This is because the lower abdomen has lots of room for cancerous tumors to grow. Symptoms often appear if the bowel becomes blocked or constricted by a tumour. Sometimes, that doesn't happen.

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have colon cancer. Any of these symptoms could be the result of many other health concerns. Still, it’s important to get them checked out. If you have some of these symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider.

Visit for more detailed information about these risk factors.