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The symptoms of colon and rectal may include any of the following:
Sometimes tiredness (fatigue)| is a symptom of colon and rectal cancer. This can happen if the cancer has been bleeding so the number of red blood cells is reduced (anaemia). Anaemia may also make you feel breathless.
Sometimes the cancer can cause a blockage (obstruction) in the bowel. The symptoms of this are:
Although these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer of the colon and rectum, it’s important to always have them checked by your doctor. As colon cancer usually occurs in people over the age of 50, these symptoms in younger people are often due to other bowel problems, such as haemorrhoids (piles), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ulcerative colitis.
If you have symptoms that don’t improve within a few weeks, or if your symptoms are getting worse, it’s important that you’re referred to a specialist for tests to find out what the problem is.
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Content last reviewed: 1 July 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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