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How does colon cancer affect the body?

Colon cancer can cause a person to feel tired or weak, lose weight, and have general discomfort in their digestive system and bowel movements. In the later stages of colon cancer, the cancer can spread beyond the rectum into other parts of the body. In stage III colon cancer, the lymph nodes that reside nearby are infected. In the final stage of colon cancer, stage IV, the cancer has spread to other organs, such as the liver or lungs.

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

Colon cancer affects the body by preventing adequate passage of stool or causing disruption in the absorption of nutrients and water. It may cause pain in your abdomen, which causes you to eat less and lose weight. If enough blood is passed through your stools, blood tests may reveal anemia or low hemoglobin levels. You may notice fatigue. If colon cancer spreads to other areas of your body, you may develop symptoms related to that spread. If it has spread to your bones, you may have bone pain in that region. If you are having difficulties with urination, it may be affecting your bladder or, in men, your prostate.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.