Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

As we step into the month of March, it’s important to spread awareness and educate others on Colorectal Cancer. Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, affects thousands of lives each year. While it may not always be a comfortable topic of conversation, raising awareness about this disease can save lives. One crucial aspect of awareness is understanding the symptoms that should never be ignored.

Changes in Bowel Habits

Pay attention to any alterations in your bowel movements, such as persistent diarrhea, constipation, or a change in stool consistency lasting for more than a few days. Another common symptom is feeling that you can’t completely empty your bowel, which can be a sign of a blockage. Occasional changes can be caused by a change in diet or something less serious. However, if your bowel movements remain abnormal, talk to your healthcare provider.

Abdominal Discomfort

While nearly everyone experiences occasional stomach aches, persistent abdominal discomfort could sometimes indicate colorectal cancer, particularly when accompanied by other symptoms, such as cramps, gas or pain. While many things can cause stomach pain, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to rule out something serious.

Blood in Stool

The presence of blood in your stool or rectal bleeding, whether it’s bright red or dark in color, should never be ignored. While it might not always signify cancer, it is important to quickly seek medical attention.

Unexplained Weight Loss

If you’re experiencing unexplained weight loss without changes in diet or exercise habits, it could be a red flag for various underlying health issues, including colorectal cancer. Keep track of your weight and talk to your healthcare provider about unexplained weight loss changes.


Although fatigue is a common symptom associated with many conditions, persistent fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest warrants further investigation. If you are experiencing regular fatigue along with other symptoms of colorectal cancer, it is important to take the necessary steps to be screened.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Not everyone who is anemic has colorectal cancer. However, the chronic bleeding associated with it can lead to an iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath.

While some risk factors cannot be changed (read more about risk factors here) there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a significant health concern, but with increased awareness, early detection and lifestyle modifications, it is a disease that can be prevented and treated effectively. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or have concerns about your risk factors, don’t hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider at Southwoods Health. Remember, early detection saves lives, so listen to your body and prioritize your health this Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and beyond.

For a complete list of Southwoods physicians who perform colonoscopies, click here. And remember, early detection saves lives, so listen to your body and prioritize your health this Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and beyond.

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Michael Merdich