Signs & Symptoms

krisen-signs-symptoms-crcColorectal cancer can be a preventable cancer. Knowing the signs and symptoms of colon cancer and understanding your risk may stop a cancer occurrence.

All adults with an average risk of colorectal cancer need to undergo routine screening for colon and rectal cancer beginning at age 50.  African Americans face a slightly higher risk and need to be screened beginning at age 45. Those with a family history of colorectal cancers need to be screened earlier than age 50 as well.

Learn more about screening for colorectal cancer.

Learn more about colorectal cancer risk factors.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer

Although the signs can vary, common symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • No signs or symptoms at all
  • A change of bowel habits
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired

Check with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms, regardless of your age. Remember colorectal cancer is preventable!


Reviewed by Heather Hampel, 9/30/13, Ohio State University