Know the Signs, Symptoms, and Risk Factors of Colon Cancer

Summary: Gaining an awareness of the signs, symptoms, and your personal risks for colon cancer can help you better preserve your general health.

Being diagnosed with cancer is a circumstance no patient wishes to face. 

Regardless of whether the news involves you, a close friend, or a family member, it commonly causes a crushing feeling. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we believe that knowing the risks surrounding colon cancer can allow you to have greater control over a cancer diagnosis. Understanding the symptoms, signs, and your family’s history of colon cancer can help to diagnose the disease early on and give you greater treatment options.

How is colon cancer found?

Colon cancer starts in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. At times referred to as "bowel cancer" or "colorectal cancer,” this condition triggers the cells in the large intestine or rectum to multiply out of control. Colorectal cancer can often be treated successfully, so our physicians recommend that patients aged 45 and above receive regular colon cancer screenings in Hinsdale, IL to reduce their risk of having this disease go unnoticed. If you have a close relative with colon cancer or if you have been diagnosed with a bowel condition, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, it is essential to start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45.

Signs and symptoms for further colon cancer awareness

Along with encouraging you to undergo colon cancer screenings regularly, we also recommend that you learn about colorectal cancer signs and symptoms. Even though the indications may not be evident in the beginning, having an awareness of these signs and symptoms might help to identify the disease in the initial stages.

Typical signs and symptoms of colon cancer can include:

  • A change in your bowel movements or bowel habits
  • Blood in your stool
  • Diarrhea or difficult bowel movements
  • Persistent aches, pains, or abdominal cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty emptying bowels

Although these indications may seem vague, if recurrent, it may be a wise choice to reserve an appointment at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates so one of our seasoned GI specialists can assess your health concerns. Our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterologists prefer to be proactive when it comes to the health of our patients.

Will I develop colon cancer if someone in my family has it?

In the event you have a relative that has or has had colon cancer, you could have a greater risk of developing the disease. This information can be used to your benefit when making decisions about when to get colorectal cancer screenings.

We strongly suggest that when talking with your GI specialist, you provide as much of your family medical history as you can. During your consultation, you should offer details about the medical history of your mother, father, brothers, and sisters, along with your father and mother's sides of the family (uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and more). You should discuss the type of cancer your relative had, when it was detected, and whether the cancer was the reason for death. Providing these details can help our physicians establish the ideal preventive treatment plan for your needs.

At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our physicians may advise that you get a colonoscopy around age 30 if an immediate family member has a history of colon cancer. In the event the family member is not immediate, it is recommended to start colon cancer screenings around the age of 45.

Set up your screening for colon cancer in Hinsdale, IL

Even though a cancer diagnosis is always daunting, being familiar with signs, symptoms, and your family's history can help you understand your risks and receive a diagnosis as early as possible. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we are ready to help you screen for and detect colorectal cancer. To meet with a GI specialist in Hinsdale, IL, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.