Symptoms of colorectal cancer

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This is the most common presentation of colorectal cancer and is characterised by:


Bloody discharges from the rectum (rectal bleeding).

abdominal pain

Abdominal pain. Which is less intense and with a more latent onset than in the acute presentation

Changes in depositional rhythm, asymmetric deposition

Changes in bowel movement rhythm (whether it be diarrhoea or constipation)

Scale with a down arrow indicating a weight loss

Weight loss, loss of appetite (anorexia) and/or tiredness. The presentation of these symptoms could be signs of an advanced tumour

anemia, glóbulos rojos bajos

Anaemia. Colorectal cancer occasionally manifests as anaemia (iron deficiency anaemia) due to unnoticed blood loss through the digestive tract.

The acute presentation of colorectal cancer, which is much less common than the chronic form, includes:

perforación intestino

Intestinal perforation. This occurs when tumour growth affects the entire thickness of the intestine wall which eventually ruptures, subsequently allowing faecal matter to pass into the peritoneal cavity. This leads to acute peritonitis which manifests with abdominal pain and often fever.

oclusión tránsito intestinal

Bowel obstruction. Similarly, tumours can grow until they obstruct intestinal transit, leading to abdominal pain and vomiting.

What is Cancer?

General information about Cancer

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Antonio Maria Lacy Fortuny
Estela Pineda Losada
Francesc Balaguer Prunes
Mª Rosa Costa Quintàs

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018


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