Colon Cancer : Symptoms, Signs and Causes

Learning about the different signs and symptoms of colon cancer and understanding the possible causes associated with it is important as these help patients receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Some colon cancer patients may not show any symptoms initially; however, as the disease progresses, they start exhibiting symptoms. Therefore, along with keeping an eye on the symptoms, it is also necessary to opt for regular health checkups to catch colon cancer in its early stages.

Who is Mainly Affected by Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is found to be more common in individuals who have the following risk factors:

Above 50 years of age

Family history of colon cancer

Medical history of polyps

Underlying conditions, such as diabetes, IBD, and obesity

Radiation exposure for other abdominal cancer treatment

Excessive tobacco and alcohol consumption

Early Symptoms or Signs of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer symptoms do not present early in most patients. Once the disease starts progressing, the patients start experiencing symptoms. Symptoms of colon cancer in women are similar to signs of colon cancer in men. Early colon cancer symptoms, if present, include:

Colon Cancer Type & its Symptoms

What are the Causes of Colon Cancer?

Patients usually ask about what causes colon cancer. Some of the common colon cancer causes include:

When to See a Gastroenterologist?

One must see a gastroenterologist if they are experiencing persistent GI issues and other symptoms of colon cancer. This is important for timely detection and treatment of colon cancer.


Colon cancer causes and symptoms are not exclusively specific to colon cancer. Colon cancer symptoms do not occur during the early stages. Early signs of colon cancer or stage 1 colon cancer symptoms, if present, usually overlap with other colon problem symptoms. It is important to consult the doctor in case of any symptoms of concern.

Factors like obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, radiation exposure, and tobacco consumption may increase the risk of colon cancer, and those having these risk factors should pay extra attention to health, opt for regular health checkups, and see a doctor when something is not normal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Foods that increase the risk of colon cancer include processed meat, red meat, white bread, and sugary beverages.

There is no defined age for colon cancer, as it can occur at any age. However, colon cancer is usually found in people over 50. Of late, colon cancer is becoming common among younger individuals, too.

Colon cancer generally arises in the form of clusters of cells called polyps. These polyps are not cancerous, but some may develop into malignant tumors.

No single symptom confirms the presence of colon cancer, as most symptoms, such as bleeding and abdominal pain, overlap with other diseases. The following are some of the important symptoms associated with colon cancer, and it is important to see a doctor if these symptoms are persistent and do not go away with medication:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in stools
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gas and bloating
  • Unintended weight loss