Ser capaz de reconocer los signos y síntomas del cáncer de recto, loscánceres colorectales que se encuentran en la parte inferior del colon cerca del ano, es más importante que nunca después de un estudio de 2017 . Los investigadores descubrieron que el cáncer colorrectal está aumentando significativamente en personas menores de 50 años y, por lo tanto, las personas que aún no han alcanzado la edad en la que generalmente se realiza el examen colorrectal.
Desafortunadamente, ya sea que la enfermedad ocurra en adultos más jóvenes o mayores, un retraso en el diagnóstico de esta enfermedad es un problema. Con frecuencia, esto hace que estos cánceres se detecten en etapas más avanzadas de la enfermedad, cuando el pronóstico no es tan bueno.
Los signos y síntomas del cáncer rectal son inespecíficos, lo que significa que pueden tener varias causas, muchas de las cuales, aunque no todas, son menos graves. Mientras que la probabilidad de que usted podría tener cáncer rectal es mayor si hay más de uno de estos procedimientos están presentes, experimentando solo uno de estos signos o síntomas es razón suficiente para ver a su médico.
Heces con sangre
El sangrado rectal (ya sea de color rojo brillante o rojo oscuro) es un síntoma común del cáncer de recto, que se presenta en 60 a 80 por ciento de las personas en el momento del diagnóstico. Este sangrado también puede estar asociado con el paso de moco en las heces.
Bleeding may not always be apparent, however, and sometimes it occurs only on a microscopic scale (meaning you can’t see it with the naked eye). A test called a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) detects blood in the stool that cannot be seen.
While rectal bleeding is a symptom of rectal cancer, it is also associated with less severe health problems, such as internal hemorrhoids and anal fissures. There are also some foods, like beets, watermelon, and red licorice, that can cause changes in stool color that resemble blood. To be on the safe side, always report any suspect changes in stool color to your doctor.
While bleeding due to rectal cancer usually causes bright red or dark red blood (hematochezia), don’t dismiss darker stools. Bleeding higher in the colon, as well as in the stomach, often appears black and tarry (melena), or resembles coffee grounds. This symptom can also be a warning sign of serious medical conditions.Common Causes of Red or Black Stool
Changes in Bowel Habits
The second most common symptom of rectal cancer, occurring in nearly 50 percent of people, is a change in bowel habits. This can be diarrhea, constipation, or an increase or decrease in the frequency of bowel movements. With rectal cancer, diarrhea is quite common.
The important point with bowel habits is to be alert for a change that represents a change for you personally. Everyone has different bowel habits, and what is normal for one person may not be for another.
Certainly, there are many causes of this, and your symptoms could be due to something as minor as your diet. That said, it’s still best to consult with your doctor if you notice any change.Healthy (and Unhealthy) Bowel Movements
Another common symptom or rectal cancer is the presence of rectal pressure or fullness, or the sensation that you have to empty your bowels, even if you’ve just finished. A mass in the rectum can give the sensation of incomplete emptying (tenesmus), even if you no longer need to pass stool.
A change in the pattern of a bowel movement to thin- or ribbon-like stools may indicate a problem. A growth in the colon or rectum that is partially obstructing the bowel can change the size and shape of the stool as it exits the body. Other conditions may also cause thin stools, such as a large benign polyp or hemorrhoids.
While some sources describe thin as “pencil thin,” there really isn’t an accepted definition. If you notice that your stools are thinner than normal for you, see your doctor.What Happens When Your Intestines Become Blocked?
Cramping & Constipation
When a tumor in the rectum is large, it may obstruct the rectum partially or completely. This can lead to severe constipation and progressively worsening cramping.
Small amounts of liquid stool may be able to pass through the obstruction, but the sensation of constipation will persist.
If you are passing liquid stool and feel like you need to expel more waste, but can’t, urgent medical care is needed.
Symptoms of Anemia
Microscopic bleeding due to rectal cancer often causes anemia. Anemia, in turn, can cause fatigue (commonly the first symptom people note); shortness of breath, often just with activity at first; weakness; and an elevated heart rate.
Most people feel tired at times, but fatigue that is interfering with your ordinary activities could be a symptom of an underlying medical problem.The Link Between Cancer and Anemia
Unexplained Weight Loss
Many people welcome unexpected weight loss, but if you’re losing weight and haven’t changed your diet or exercise, there is cause for concern.
Unintentional weight loss is defined as the loss of 5 percent of your body weight over a six- to 12-month period without trying. An example would be a 200-pound man losing 10 pounds over a six-month period.
Rectal cancer is only one of the possible causes of this symptom, however, so unexplained weight loss always deserves a visit to your doctor.Weight Loss As a Symptom of Cancer
I am Dr. Christopher Loynes and I specialize in Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hematologic Neoplasms, and Leukemia. I graduated from the American University of Beirut, Beirut. I work at New York Bone Marrow Transplantation
Hospital and Hematologic Neoplasms. I am also the Faculty of Medicine at the American University of New York.