Elderly man playing guitar for a delighted older woman.

News & Events

What Are the Silent Signs of Colon Cancer?

Many cancers have telltale signs, while others are harder to detect. Then, there are those that give you very little symptoms, making it almost impossible to recognize. Colon cancer is one of the latter. What are the silent signs of colon cancer?

Colon Cancer is Common, But Hard to Diagnose

Even though colon cancer is one of the more common types of cancer, it is difficult to diagnose because of its mostly silent signs. Any cancer not found at an early stage is that much more difficult to treat and realize a positive result. Colon cancer is no exception.

You can catch colon cancer early by having regular screenings. A colonoscopy is the best tool for those who are at risk and those with little to no risk factors. Don’t wait to experience any symptoms of late stage colon cancer. Contact proctologist Aaron B. Parrish, MD to schedule a colonoscopy in Los Gatos.

Signs of Colon Cancercolorectal cancer.

Knowing your body and being alert for even minor signs is the best way to avoid colorectal cancer. They may not be totally silent, but any change in bowel habits is the first place to start.

Many of the earliest signs of colorectal cancer can be attributed to other benign issues or conditions, so many times they are dismissed. Things like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and fatigue are common ailments and to be caused by any number of other conditions, but if these symptoms persist, see a colorectal specialist.

Watch out for the following:

  • Change in bowel habits. A change in bowel habits means that you are experiencing these changes since “normal” is different for everyone. Notice your inability to pass gas, narrow stools, mucus in the stools, watering bowel movements lasting longer than 24 hours, pus, severe abdominal pain, and weight loss.
  • Rectal bleeding, or blood in stools. This includes: Color of stools? Is it on or in the stools? Is it on the toilet paper or in the toilet? How often? Are you experiencing other symptoms too?
  • Changes to stools. Black, loose, sticky or tarry stools are not normal.
  • Severe fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Low blood count

Don’t ignore any of these signs of early colorectal cancer!

Who Is Most at Risk for Colon Cancer?

In general, older adults, and especially older men are more at risk than women. Any person who has had inflammatory bowel disease or has a family history of colorectal cancer are more at risk.

Add in those adults who live an unhealthy lifestyle like not enough physical activity, not eating enough fruits and veggies, lack of fiber in their diet, plus alcohol and tobacco consumption.

If this sounds like you, even more reason to pay attention to the above signs of early colorectal cancer and schedule a colonoscopy screening.

Pay close attention to your body and any silent signs of colon cancer. Contact colorectal specialist Aaron B. Parrish, MD at (408) 358-2868 for an evaluation and to schedule your colonoscopy. Our colorectal clinic is in Los Gatos, and Dr. Parrish sees patients from the San Jose communities of Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Salinas, Hollister, and Monterey.