Our body almost always gives out signs that something within us is amiss. It is for us to pick up these clues at the earliest and head to meet a doctor, before it is too late. Dad did this mistake. He ignored his body’s symptoms… untill it was way too late.
Colorectal cancer in very early stages may or may not show any symptoms. It depends on the location of tumors or polyps if any. Nevertheless, as soon as one notices discomfort or something that is not usual, it is wise to get it clarirified by a doc.
The unfortunate nature of the ailment is that not always are symptoms noticable till the tumor actually begins to cause an obstruction in the colon or rectum.
First and foremost…Do you have changes in your blowel habits or any one of the folowwing?
1) Narrowing of stools
2) Blood in stools, or tarry in nature
3) Mucous in stool
4) Excessive and persistant diarrhea or constipation
5) Feeling that the bowel has not completely emptied
6) Pain or discomfort in abdomen
7) Gas, bloating or flatulence
The other common symtpoms(similar to most kinds of cancer) that would be noticeable are loss in weight, changes in appetite and nausea too. When its already critical… the symtoms that are observed in advanced stages are severe discomfort in abdomen, pain, fluid accumulation in abdomen, jaundice, liver enlargement and pain radiating to hips.
In August 2008, when I met Dad after a span of 10 months, there was a noticable weight loss in him. As he seemed well otherwise, I attributed it to the natural process of aging. By June 2009, he started complaining of severe constipation. They were persistant, yet he took it lightly relied on home remedys instead.
I always advocate one thought, if a medical condition persists for a long time and doesnt seem to improve after the basic remedial procedures, there is an underlying issue that should be investigated. In the months to follow , even after pressurinsing him to visit a doc, he refused to do so. The discomfort and abdomenal bloating just increased and when he really coudlnt take it more, he made a visit to a doctor. But by then it was too late…
It was March 1st 2010, almost 9 months after the active symptoms showed its traces. The tumor in his colon had grown to the size of a tennis ball. And he was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer- a stage that is not curable.
If only we had paid heed to the intial symptom itself… probably dad would have been here today..