In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women combined.
Women have only a slightly lower chance of developing colon cancer than men. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women.
Women might shrug off early warning signs such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, or bleeding during bowel movements, attributing such symptoms to menstrual issues or hemorrhoids. 
“I encourage women to pay attention to any signals their bodies might be sending them,” explains Dr. Page Axley. “If a pain seems different from what you’ve experienced before or lasts longer than a typical menstrual cycle, talk to your doctor.”
While early-stage colon cancer may not produce obvious symptoms, some warning signs might include:


  • Change in bowel habits (chronic diarrhea or constipation, etc.)
  • Bloody, dark, or narrow stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Persistent abdominal pain, fullness, cramping and bloating
  • Anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Unexplained weight loss
“Now that colorectal cancer is more commonly seen in younger patients, we encourage everyone to get screened starting at age 45, no matter their gender,” says Dr. Lauren Bleich. “Those with a family history of cancer or other health factors may need to begin screening even earlier.”
If you have questions or concerns about colon cancer, or other digestive health issues, talk to a gastroenterologist.


Make An Appointment

Tags Colorectal (Colon) Cancer, Colonoscopy

Related Stories

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

Screening tests are an important weapon in the fight against cancer. Screening can often help find and treat pre-cancers and cancers early, before they have a chance to spread. A colonoscopy is considered the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening. During a colonoscopy a gastroenterologist can detect precancerous growths, called polyps, which can be removed during the procedure. Early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Read Article

Bill’s Family History of Cancer Changed his Future

Cancer loomed large in Bill’s life. His father passed away from kidney cancer at age 56. His mother battled colon cancer twice, once in her mid-fifties and again at age 86. Although he was only 49 and had no symptoms, his family’s history with cancer was what motivated him to seek a colonoscopy.

Read Article

Colon Cancer Didn't Care Justin Was Only 28 Years Old

Justin was only 28 years old when he started having stomach pain and noticed some blood in his stool. His symptoms seemed to improve, but he decided to see a specialist anyway. That decision probably saved his life.

Read Article