Advocates Say Confronting ‘Ick Factor’ Will Save Lives
Colon cancer survivor Danielle Ripley-Burgess, of Lee's Summit, Mo., supports an organization that takes an educational traveling exhibit about the disease. It features a 40-foot-long model of a colon that young and old can crawl through, as seen Dec. 14, 2013, at New Summit Church in Lee's Summit. (Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star/MCT)
∎ Blood in the stool (frequently not visible to the naked eye), a change in stool habits, a gradual decrease in the size of the stool, increasing abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss
∎ Those symptoms are much more likely to occur when the tumor is in the rectum or the very last part of the colon. Cancers that are higher up in the colon frequently don’t signal their presence with these symptoms until the tumor is quite large. That’s why screening for the cancer when there are no symptoms is critical.
∎ Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should tell their doctor.
Source: Larry Geier, genetics oncologist at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.