Symptoms of Colon Cancer
As a follow-up to last week, there are specific “signs” and symptoms which are characteristic of colon cancer. Seniors, or anyone, may notice the following:
— Blood in the stool. Watch for re-occurrence.
— Changes in bowel movement patterns.
— Gas pains, bloating or cramps that don’t go away.
— Weight loss for no known reason.
If these symptoms persist for more than a week, report them to your primary physician. Most likely they don’t indicate cancer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Many people, elderly or middle age adults, show no signs until the disease has progressed to a less-treatable stage. That’s why preemptive screening is so important. Screening doesn’t merely detect colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can identify and remove polyps, abnormal growths where colon cancer often begins.
Who should be screened, and when?
For people with the risk factors listed above, screening at a younger age may be recommended. But for most people, periodic screening is advised between the ages of 50 and 75. At an elderly age, screening may not be recommended. Discuss with your doctor about the type and frequency of screening that’s right for you.