Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms

December 24, 2017

Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

People with colorectal cancer often do not have symptoms right away. By the time symptoms occur, the cancer may have grown or spread to other organs. This can make it harder to treat. That’s why routine colorectal cancer screening is important.

Symptoms can include:

  • A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that your bowel is not empty after a bowel movement

  • Bright red or very dark blood in your stool

  • Constant tiredness

  • Stools that are thinner than usual

  • Stools that look slimy or have mucous on them

  • Ongoing gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Vomiting

When to see your healthcare provider

These symptoms can also be caused by many kinds of common health conditions. A healthcare provider will need to find out if your symptoms are caused by cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms.


December 24, 2017


Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of colorectal cancer, UpToDate

Reviewed By:  

Alteri, Rick MD,Levy, Adam S, MD