When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as:
- A change in bowel habits.
- Bleeding from your rectum, including bright red or dark blood in your stools or stools that look black.
- Constant or frequent diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely.
- Stools that are narrow (may be as narrow as a pencil).
- Abdominal (belly) pain or problems with gas or bloating.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Constant tiredness (fatigue).
Because colorectal cancer often does not cause any symptoms, talk with your doctor about Reference screening tests. Screening helps doctors find a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear. Some screening tests for colorectal cancer can find and remove small precancerous growths in the colon and rectum called Reference adenomatous polyps Opens New Window. If these are found and removed early, they cannot turn into cancer.
Who to see
Health professionals who can evaluate your symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Reference Family medicine doctors Opens New Window.
- Reference General practitioners Opens New Window.
- Reference Gastroenterologists Opens New Window.
- Reference General surgeons Opens New Window and Reference colorectal surgeons Opens New Window.
- Reference Internists Opens New Window.
- Reference Nurse practitioners Opens New Window.
- Reference Physician assistants Opens New Window.
If your doctor thinks you may have colorectal cancer, he or she may advise you to see a general surgeon or a colorectal surgeon. Colorectal cancer is treated by surgeons, Reference medical oncologists Opens New Window, and Reference radiation oncologists Opens New Window.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal