Symptoms Of Colon Cancer: Carcinoma Of Right, Left & Sigmoid Colon

Carcinoma of the right colon: The fecal content of the right colon if fluid, moreover it is about 2 and 1/2 times broader than the left colon, so obstructive symptoms are unusual here.

Cauliflower or polypoid tumor is the most common type in this region.

  • Anemia of varying degree is very common in case of carcinoma in this region.
  • Dull, nagging pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen sometimes comes across.
  • Pallor, easy fatigability, weakness, dizziness, dyspnoea on exertion may be the only symptoms.
  • Anorexia, indigestion and weight loss are often the presenting complaints.
  • Palpable mass in the right lower quadrant helps a lot in the diagnosis of this condition. In only 10% of cases this is the first sign of disease. Sometimes the patient will complain of above symptoms only and on careful palpation the mass may be discovered.
  • Severe symptoms such as cachexia, jaundice and hepatomegaly (enlargement of liver) will obviously group this tumor as an advanced one.

Carcinoma Of The Left Colon

Majority of carcinomas arise in this part of the colon. The caliber of the lumen is smaller and the fecal content is more solid.

Obviously obstructive symptoms predominate. Cancers in this region are usually of annular or scirrhous type.

  • A change in bowel habit is often the first symptom. The patient often states that he is facing difficulty in getting the bowels to move, so he has to take increasing doses of purgatives. Because of drastic purgation and irritation by the neoplasm, excessive mucus is secreted and diarrhea follows. So constipation followed by diarrhea is a very suggestive symptom.
  • Pain may be of constant ache, which suggests pericolitis or cramping type due to obstruction.
  • Palpable lump is often not the growth but impacted feces above it.
  • Distension may be present above the growth, as obstruction is very common feature of cancer in this region.
  • Blood and mucus in the stool may be complained of.
  • Anemia is uncommon, but if present indicated poor prognosis.
  • Complete intestinal obstruction may be the presenting feature in some patients.

Carcinoma Of The Sigmoid Colon

  • Papilliferous growth in the sigmoid colon may give rise to feeling of the need of evacuation, which may result in tenesmus accompanied by passage of mucus and blood. This particularly occurs in early morning.
  • Pain in the form of colic, may be present, though not common.
  • Bladder symptoms are not unusual. They indicate irritation of the bladder.

Carcinoma Of The Transverse Colon

  • Pain or palpable lumps are the two main modes of presentation.
  • Pain if present, is usually of colic type. Palpable mass often makes difficulty to differentiate from stomach cancer.
  • Associated anemia, anorexia, lassitude are almost always present.