One of the most prevalent cancers in both men and women is colon cancer. One in every 24 women will be given a colon or rectal cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, despite the fact that it affects men slightly more frequently. Experiencing diarrhea, constipation, unwanted weight loss, and bloody stools as signs of colon cancer in womenis common. The symptoms of colon cancer are the same for all patients, but in women, they may be mistaken for digestive issues because they are more common in women than in men.
Although there may be some early warning signals, colon cancer symptoms may be minimal or nonexistent in the early stages of the disease. Signs of colon cancer in women may not appear until stage 2 or later in the course of the disease. In most cases, the less obvious colon cancer symptoms can be confused with common gynecological problems in women.
In addition to discussing the signs of colon cancer in women, this article addresses the risk factors and the prevention of the disease.
What is Colon Cancer?
One kind of cancer that frequently affects colon cells is colon cancer. Even though colon cancer is equally risky for both genders, most women aren’t overly concerned about it. Women typically prioritize their health over that of their partners and children. Additionally, several signs of colon cancer in women that they may pass off, including feeling bloated or suffering stomach cramps, may potentially be indicators of colon cancer in women.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer develops when cells grow and divide uncontrollably, just like all other types of cancer. Your body’s cells are all constantly dividing, growing, and dying. Your body maintains its health and functionality in this manner. When you have colon cancer, the cells that line your colon and rectum continue to grow and divide even though they should be dying. These malignant cells could have originated from colon polyps.
Most Common Signs of Colon Cancer in Women
Not every woman develops early signs of colon cancer. The size and location of the cancer can alter the severity of the signs of colon cancer in women. Some of the common symptoms are:
Blood in the stool
Blood in the stool is a warning sign of colon or rectal cancer. Sometimes you will notice bright red spots, sometimes they are invisible to the naked eye. The severity of symptoms depends on the course and location of the disease. It is one of the most common signs of colon cancer in women. Consult your doctor if you’re suffering from rectal bleeding, especially if it’s a new symptom.
Anemia due to a lack of iron
One of the signs of colon cancer in women is anemia caused by inadequate levels of iron. Through blood loss during bowel movements and decreased gastrointestinal absorption of dietary sources of iron, colon cancer can cause iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia generally has no obvious symptoms. However, in certain instances, symptoms could also include pallor (paler-looking skin), exhaustion, and shortness of breath.
Frequently changing bowel habits
Women do not take a change in bowel movement seriously. This is overlooked until it begins to disrupt daily life. One of the first signs of colon cancer in women is a change in bowel movement that occurs too frequently. In this case, the person has frequent diarrhea and constipation. A change in stool consistency is an important sign of this illness.
Unexplained Abdominal Pain
If you experience abdominal pain that is severe, persistent, or has no apparent reason, consult a healthcare professional. Many different factors can cause stomach discomfort, but if it is uncommon or persistent, it could be one of the signs of colon cancer in women.
Bloating in the stomach
Bloating, cramps, gas, or abdominal pain on a regular basis should not be taken lightly. Many women confuse this with their regular menstrual problems and alleviate their discomfort by using herbal medicines and home treatments. The goal should be to treat the symptoms and determine the main cause as soon as possible without allowing the condition to worsen.
Unexpected weight loss
A significant decline in body weight that occurs when you are not actively attempting to lose weight could be one of the many signs of colon cancer in women.
Vomiting or Nausea
If you frequently vomit for no apparent reason or if it happens a lot in 24 hours, consult a healthcare professional. Signs of colon cancer in women may also include nauseating feelings.
Shortness of Breath and Fatigue
We have already discussed that anemia could be one of the most salient signs of colon cancer in women. Shortness of breath, breathing inconsistency, difficulty breathing, and extreme fatigue could occur because of anemia. If you find you are feeling breathless or tired without any reason, you must consider visiting your nearest practitioner.
Risk Factors of Colon Cancer in Women
Anything that boosts the possibility of developing a sickness or getting a medical condition is what we call a risk factor. Women are also susceptible to the same factors that enhance a man’s risk of developing colon cancer. These risk elements consist of:
- Growing age
- Family and genetic background
- Unhealthy way of life
- Radiation therapy
- Personal experience with polyps
When to See a Doctor?
Changes in bowel habits, rectum bleeding, blood in the stools, abdominal discomfort, and unintentional weight loss are all signs that should be explored with your doctor. If you have colon cancer risk factors, talk to your doctor about colon cancer screening alternatives.
If detected early, colon cancer is extremely curable. Surgery is frequently the primary option for tumor removal. However, depending on the stage of your colon cancer, your doctor may advise you to try different treatments in addition to surgery.
- How common is colon cancer among women?
Although colon cancer is thought to be largely a male disease, nearly as many women as men are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
- Is it possible to cure colon cancer?
When confined to the abdomen, colon cancer is an extremely manageable and sometimes curable disease.
- Is it possible to detect colon cancer with ultrasound?
In the diagnosis of colon cancer, abdominal ultrasound has a high sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV.
- Can colon cancer make your back hurt?
Yes, it can give you some lower back discomfort, but it’s more known for causing belly pain and cramps.