There are usually no symptoms of polyps in early colon and rectal cancers. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please discuss with your doctor.

  • Changes in your bowel habits, such as bowel movements that are either more or less frequent than normal
  • Constipation (difficulty having a bowel movement or straining to have a bowel movement)
  • Diarrhea (loose or watery stools)
  • Intermittent (alternating) constipation and diarrhea
  • Bright red or dark red blood in your stools or black, dark colored, "tarry" stools
  • Stools that are thinner than normal ("pencil stools") or feeling as if you cannot empty your bowels completely
  • Abdominal (midsection) discomfort, bloating, frequent gas pains or cramps

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer and could be caused by other common colorectal disorders. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.