Many common colorectal issues like hemorrhoids can be addressed with simple outpatient procedures such as hemorrhoid laser treatment. However, some colorectal problems can be more significant.

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. In addition to scheduling a routine colonoscopy and eating a nutrient-rich diet, Los Angeles colorectal surgeon Dr. Allen Kamrava recommends you protect your colon health by watching out for these 3 common signs of rectal cancer.  

1. Bleeding

Bleeding is by far the most common symptom of rectal cancer. Approximately 80% of people with rectal cancer experience this symptom over the course of their illness. Bleeding can present itself in several different ways. Often, individuals may see blood mixed with their stool that causes their stool to be either red or very dark. Other times, prolonged rectal bleeding may occur but the amount may be too small to be seen in the stool. Even in small quantities, prolonged bleeding is still dangerous because it can lead to anemia and lightheadedness.

hemorrhoid laser treatment

2. Bowel Obstruction

Bowel obstruction occurs when a rectal mass grows too large and prevents the regular passage of stool. When the bowels are obstructed, stool size may appear narrow or pencil-thin so it can be passed around the mass. Occasionally, the rectal mass may be so large that some stool is unable to be passed. This blockage can lead to severe constipation, pain, and discomfort. Individuals with rectal cancer may also feel like their stool has not completely passed or that their bowels are not completely empty even after going to the restroom.

3. Weight Loss

Rectal cancer can cause bouts of unexplained weight loss. This weight loss can be attributed to several factors including cancer-induced abdominal pain and nausea that comes with bowel obstruction. Rectal masses can cause changes in appetite or feelings of bloating that may make it difficult to consume food. If you are experiencing unintended weight loss and are not on any new diet or exercise program, talk to your doctor.


About Dr. Allen Kamrava

Dr. Allen Kamrava is a board-certified colorectal surgeon experienced in hemorrhoid laser treatment, as well as treating a wide variety of issues, including hemorrhoids, pilonidal disease, and colorectal cancer. To schedule a consultation, call 424.279.8222 or visit his website