Colon Cancer Symptoms


Colon cancer belongs to one of the most common malignant neoplasms (new formation of body tissue) of the Gastrointestinal tract. Round 30-35 out of 100,000 On average in Germany people get one Colon cancer, so Colon cancer. The maximum age is around 65 years of age.

In order to understand the effects and symptoms of colon cancer, the function of the colon should be briefly discussed at this point: On the one hand, it withdraws Large intestine the food pulp the water, on the other hand he takes Electrolytes and nutrient on.

End-stage symptoms

Colon cancer can cause constipation, which leads to abdominal cramps.

Regrettably, colon cancer is relatively asymptomatic, especially in the early stages, so it is hardly noticeable. It is only in the final stages that the first symptoms appear that can speak for colon cancer. These include the "B symptoms" which are very common in everyday clinical practice.

The B symptoms exist when the patient has unintentionally lost weight in the last few weeks, suffers more frequent attacks of fever and experiences heavy sweats - especially at night. These go so far that the entire bed linen is sweaty and has to be changed.

A positive B-symptomatology is an indication of a neoplastic event, i.e. cancer.

Colon cancer also has other symptoms in the terminal stages. These mainly affect the function of the large intestine: Since the large intestine can no longer withdraw water from the pulp, diarrhea and increased water loss occur. However, growths into the colon lumen can also lead to blockages and, as a result, to abdominal cramps.

The bowel habits change noticeably due to the malignant (malicious) Processes in the large intestine. The previously mentioned growths in the colon lumen can also ulcerate (ulcerate) and cause bleeding. The blood is then added to the stool, so that red blood deposits can often be seen on the stool after using the toilet.

However, red blood deposits do not automatically indicate colon cancer and can have a number of other causes, such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures. In fact, they are relatively common symptoms, and often have a rather harmless cause.

Please also read our article on this

  • End-stage colon cancer
  • Pain in the rectum

Due to the loss of blood, it can also cause a drop in performance and Anemia come. This is indicated by paleness, Listlessness, and fast "get out of breath“During strenuous activities. Since the red blood cells are the carriers of oxygen molecules in the blood, a lack of blood results in a lack of oxygen in the body at the same time. This can still be compensated to a certain extent, but becomes noticeable more quickly than usual during physical activity. Classic symptoms are then also Racing heart (Tachycardia) and Circulatory problems.

Since colon cancer is also in the terminal stages Liver metastases forms, it can be used to Hepatic insufficiency, and to Jaundice (Jaundice) come. The liver can no longer detoxify the body as usual, so it can no longer filter the blood properly. Remodeling processes in the liver lead to a relocation of the Biliary tract, and thereby to a backlog of the bile. These two processes lead to the Bile pigment Bilirubin from which blood is congested in the body tissue - the body turns yellowish.

In the end stage of colon cancer there are other symptoms, such as the worsening of the General condition. Since the tumor on the one hand a lot energy consumed, on the other hand fulfills no function, and other organs such as Large intestine and liver in addition still prevents their work, there is a drastically increased energy requirement. Affected patients often feel less hungry, on the one hand because food intake increases Abdominal cramps can lead (see above), on the other hand because the body breaks down slowly overall.

In some countries early detection from Colon cancer stool tests carried out the chair on occult - i.e. invisible to the eyes - Bleeding examine. This is currently the only way to Colon cancer screening.

Colon cancer pain

Pain occurs when Colon cancer in the initial stages hardly at all and in the final stage only under certain conditions:

in the Early stage can it through steady Flatulence (Flatulence), Growth in the intestinal lumen, and frequent Diarrhea to symptoms like Abdominal cramps come. However, cramp-like abdominal pain can occur independently of food intake and bowel movements. Constipation can go so far that the affected person cannot drain for several days. This is uncomfortable stomach pain and -cramps.

in the Terminal stage Colon cancer is more complicated. So it can due to the constant pressure on the intestinal wall Perforations this come and an emptying of the intestinal contents in the Abdominal cavity. This inevitably leads to Inflammation of the peritoneum, also known as "peritonitis" called. It then comes to "Acute abdomen", an extremely painful and pressure-sensitive stomach with "hard as a board" Defense tension. The Lethality in such cases up to 50%.

As already mentioned, it can occur in the later stages of colon cancer too Metastases in the liver come, which is also pain in the right upper abdomen can cause.
The pain can be relieved with one of the WHO Fight against the elaborated level scheme. While initially still Painkiller from the group of NSAIDs given, such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin®, is already on in the second stage of the stage scheme low potency opioids resorted to. Representatives of this group are for example Tilidine and Tramal®.

If these drugs are not sufficient to combat the pain effectively, the third stage will be used strong opioids how Fentanyl and morphine resorted to. Here some patients express some concern about the potential addictionthat bring strong opioids with them. It is therefore necessary to carefully consider whether a Long-term opioid therapy should take place. In any case, the opioid must be tapered off again in a controlled manner. Only in individual cases (less than 0.03%) does a Withdrawal symptoms.