Colon Cancer Symptoms | Kansas City Survivor

Melissa Rieke Photography

Colon Cancer Symptoms

Kansas City Survivor

I can’t believe that it is already the last Friday of March and Colon Cancer Awareness Month.  Have you shared your BLUE with someone?  Colon Cancer is not the prettiest topic to talk about…but it is so so important.  I knew this before…but even more so now when I polled some fellow survivors and asked of their Colon Cancer Symptoms.

I have talked about my symptoms before and how they were pretty minimal an not alarming at all.  After reading and hearing of how others were diagnosed I have decided that maybe I had more symptoms than even I knew about.  Today I am going to share the “standard symptoms”, I am going to list my symptoms below…and then add my “in hind sight” symptoms.   I am also going to share with you the “symptoms” from the survivors I polled.  You will be shocked at the results.

Colon Cancer Symptoms – from the Colon Cancer Alliance

Colon cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. Be proactive and talk to your doctor.  If symptoms are present, they may include:

A CHANGE IN BOWEL HABITS-Including diarrhea, constipation, a change in the consistency of your stool or finding your stools are narrower than usual

 PERSISTENT ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT-Such as cramps, gas, or pain and/or feeling full, bloated or that your bowel does not empty completely

 RECTAL BLEEDING – Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool

WEAKNESS OR FATIGUE – Can also accompany losing weight for no known reason, nausea or vomiting

Dress In Blue Day Colon Cancer AwarenessP I N_______I M A G E

Colon Cancer Symptoms – Melissa’s

Right side lower abdomen pain:  This is a pain I would have every so often and it would mostly always be in the mornings and last about 15 minutes being pretty intense, then just be kinda sore the rest of the day and then gone.  It wasn’t enough to slow me down most generally.  When it started becoming more intense I narrowed it down to twice a month and related to my “girl” cycle. I still have this pain from time to time.

Blood in Stool:  I had started noticing blood in my stool every so often after I started working out.  It was very light, talking pink on the paper, and I just assumed it was from lifting and working out giving me hemorrhoids.  When I noticed my pain was twice a month I put it together that typical the blood was also twice a month.

Hindsight Symptoms

Constipation:  I assumed this was from working out and eatting different foods.  It never really got to a point that I would be uncomfortable…just a hey…I am not sure when the last time I went was.

Excessive Menstrual Cycle: In early 2012 (diagnosed in May 2014) I started bleeding a lot, having my period about 3 times a month.  This went on for a bit before I went in to the doctor and we decided to do an Ablation, DNC, and Tubal.  After reading other posts I am not sure if this bleeding had something to do with it or not.   The pain also started after I had these surgeries so I assumed the pain was from that.  I also assumed that the excessive bleeding was because I had 3 babies in about 4 years.

Stuck Stools:  Before I had the tumor removed I would get that feeling of my stools being stuck.  I would feel a lot of pressure, and then have tiny bowel movements.

Bladder Issues:  Before the mass was found I remember asking my Chiropractor if my back being out of place would cause me to have urgency issues.  I could go all day and not have to pee…then all of a sudden it would come on and I could barely make it to the restroom.  And then I would never feel like I was fully emptied out.

FULL DISCLOSER STATEMENT:  I am not a doctor and don’t pretend to be on TV or on the BLOG.  I have no factual basis in my “hindsight symptoms”.

Colon Cancer Awareness Month | Stage 3a Survivor | Never Too Young | Colon Cancer | Melissa Rieke PhotographyP I N_______I M A G E

Colon Cancer Symptoms – From The Survivors

Like I said before I polled my fellow Colon Cancer Survivors and was surprised by what I learned!  I asked them “What were your symptoms?”  Here are their answers…

Feeling like bumper cars in my digestive tract and streaks like an overdose of hot tamales candy or Swedish fish in stool sporadically. Never dreamed it was cancer.
Pain in my side on and off (thought it was related to menstrual cycle) for months, one day noticed blood in my stool (thought it was from hemorrhoids) blood got heavier which led to a colonoscopy and dx of stage 3.
My husbands was frequent stools, about 20 a day and right after he ate.
Positive occult blood test and before I could retest to rule out a false positive, a big bleed as if from a hemorrhoid. Stage 3 but otherwise very healthy.
Blood in stool. Had colonoscopy less than 5 years prior to DX. In retrospect, am wondering if sudden onset of horrible gas about a year prior to DX was a warning sign??? Stage II progressed to Stage IV 15 months later.
no symotoms!!! colonoscopy a MUST!
My husband had no symptoms – it was caught on a PET scan to check that his stage 4 lymphoma was still in remission! He was diagnosed at age 63, stage 2 which progressed to stage 4.
no symptoms here, either. Went for a check on something breast cancer related. One thing led to another, and it culminated with a PET and a scope that found Stage 4 with liver mets. Age 45
Blood in stool, two menstrual cycles in two weeks, vomiting, diarrhea (constipation when no diarrhea), nausea, abdominal pain, fever and anemia, muscle contractions. Infection and sepsis. Stage 3C at 29 years old. October 2011
I really had no symptoms! Result: stage IV!!!
Losing weight (lost a little weight,slight abdominal cramps on and off but not terrible,and then some looser stools for about 6 months ,thought maybe irritable bowel or something Minor …. finally had a colonoscopy.. DX Stage 3c sigmoid/colon cancer .Surprise!!
I would like to say constipation but I had it for my whole life, so I was checking to find out why.
My main symptom was unexplained iron deficiency anemia. Other symptoms that I attributed to severe lactose intolerance and high doses of iron were stomach pain, bloating and acid reflux. Luckily I turned 50 and got my screening based on age.

What are your Symptoms?

This information is often overwhelming.  Many of the symptoms, in fact all of them, could very well and most likely are something else totally…but speak with your doctor…get screened.

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