1 unexpected symptom that often goes unnoticed, according to a Yale oncologist

As colon cancer strikes more and more young people, it’s natural to be concerned

Colorectal cancer has become more common in people under the age of 50 over the past 30 years. and Michael Cecchinidirector of the colon program at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center and medical oncologist at the Yale Cancer Center.

The exact reason why this happens is not known. Experts think it has to do with lifestyle and the environment, but they don’t know exactly what might be to blame, Cecchini says.

In the meantime, it is important to be vigilant against colon cancer regardless of age.

Colorectal Cancer: Warning Signs

In this context, it is good to be aware of some possible warning signs. There’s one sign that’s getting attention on social media: stools that are thinner than normal, sometimes pencil-like.

The shape and size of the stool can be a “red flag.”

The oncologist says doctors sometimes see patients “whose stools are much thinner or pencil-like than their thickness and size.”

This happens when there are tumors near the edge of the colon or when they cover the entire interior of the colon, causing it to narrow and affect the shape of the stool.

UPMC gastroenterologist and associate professor of the gastroenterology department of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. According to Jeffrey Dueker, any noticeable change in your bowel habits can be a potential red flag, but not always a sign of colon cancer. In addition to changes in stool shape or consistency, this may include going to the toilet more or less frequently.

Other symptoms

Very loose stools are one of the less common symptoms of colon cancer.

“If this happens, it’s very worrying,” emphasizes Cecchini. “It’s not one of the most common symptoms of the disease,” he said.

The most common symptoms are blood in the stool and abdominal pain. Intentional weight loss is another symptom. Colon cancer sometimes has no symptoms.

If you notice any symptoms, you should inform your doctor.

“It’s very easy for younger people to think, ‘Oh, it’s just hemorrhoids’ or something like that … and it can be, but these conditions can coexist,” notes Cecchini.

In general, a colonoscopy or another test for colon cancer is the best way to reduce the risk or stop it in its early stages.

Also, anyone with a first-degree relative, mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter with colon cancer, is at increased risk for colon cancer, especially if that person was diagnosed before age 50. should talk to their doctor about their family history and when to start a colonoscopy.

If you have inflammatory bowel disease or have had radiation therapy to the pelvis or abdomen, or if you have certain genetic syndromes or a personal history of colon cancer, you should also get a colonoscopy before age 45, Dueker noted. .

It is important to tell your doctor about your medical history and any problems you may be experiencing. However, you should not panic either.

“Not all of these symptoms necessarily mean you have colon cancer,” Dueker emphasizes. Instead, they may indicate that you need a colonoscopy to see what’s going on. Even if the cause is indeed colon cancer or precancerous polyps, early diagnosis is the best way to treat it

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