Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Colon cancer symptoms can be vague, including dull abdominal pain, fatigue and anemia. Other colon cancer symptoms include rectal bleeding and changes in bowel habits.
If I don’t have symptoms, why should I have a colonoscopy?
Early colon cancers and polyps that can develop into cancer often produce no symptoms. Early detection also means that cancer is less likely to have spread to nearby lymph nodes and other organs. Learn more about colonoscopies.
Most common symptoms of colorectal cancer
The following are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
People who have any of the following symptoms should check with their doctors, especially if they are over 50 years old or have a personal or family history of the disease:
A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
Cramping or gnawing stomach pain
Weakness and fatigue
Jaundice—yellowing of the skin and eyes
The symptoms of colorectal cancer may resemble other conditions, such as infections, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also possible to have colon cancer and not have any symptoms. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis. Make an appointment today at the Stanford GI Cancer Program if you think your symptoms may be a sign of colorectal cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.