Learn About the Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancers—cancers of the colon or rectum—begin as noncancerous clumps of cells called polyps, which may become cancers over time. Recognizing the signs of colon cancer and rectal cancer can lead to early detection and more effective treatment.

Colorectal cancer may cause one of more of the following symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • A sense of urgency or bowel fullness that isn’t relieved by a bowel movement
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool, or dark stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue

Colorectal cancers may bleed into the digestive tract, and bleeding can occur even if the stool looks normal. Over time, this blood loss can lead to low red blood cell counts or anemia. In some cases, a blood test showing anemia is the first sign of colorectal cancer.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice any symptoms associated with colon cancer, such as a persistent change in bowel habits or blood in your stool, make an appointment with your physician. He or she can advise you about when you should begin screening for colorectal cancer.

Guidelines generally recommend that colorectal cancer screenings begin at age 50, but you may benefit from more frequent screenings if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of colorectal cancer.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Center of New Jersey

We are pleased to offer state-of-the-art care that is designed to integrate with a multidisciplinary care plan combining medicine, surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy as necessary.

Some of the other services we offer include the following:

  • Barium swallow testing
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Double balloon enteroscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy
  • Enteroclysis
  • Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pancreatic biopsy
  • PET/CT Our expert physicians emphasize patient-centered, compassionate care.

Our gastrointestinal oncologists provide expertise in the management of upper and lower gastrointestinal tract tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, melanoma, and endocrine tumors. These physicians are among the most accomplished and highly trained in the region, making every effort to apply minimally invasive techniques whenever feasible.

To contact one of New Jersey’s best colon cancer specialists call
(844) CANCERNJ or (844) 226-2376.

Patient Stories

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200 South Orange Avenue
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(201) 915-2000
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(732) 828-3000
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
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(908) 685-2200

Colon Cancer Treatment & Care

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