Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

The following are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

People who have any of the following symptoms should check with their physicians, especially if they are over 50 years old or have a personal or family history of the disease:

  • A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool. 
  • Cramping or gnawing stomach pain. 
  • Decreased appetite. 
  • Vomiting. 
  • Weakness and fatigue. 
  • Jaundice (yellowish coloring) of the skin or sclera of the eye.

The symptoms of colorectal cancer may resemble other conditions, such as infections, hemorrhoids and inflammatory bowel disease. It also is possible to have colon cancer and not have any symptoms. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.