Living & Managing

Learning how to cope after hearing “you’ve got colorectal cancer” is half the battle. Here you’ll find information to help you deal with everything from stress and fatigue to living with a colostomy.
Living and Coping
Coping With Colon Cancer

A colorectal cancer diagnosis may be frightening, but there are ways to cope with stress and fear so that cancer doesn’t rule your life. Learn how here.
How to Get the Best Colon Cancer Care

Learn how to be a proactive patient to get the best colorectal cancer treatment.
Exercise for People With Colon Cancer

New research shows that regular exercise can prevent recurrences of colorectal cancer and help patients live longer.
Colostomy Care

Learn how to manage your colostomy so it doesn’t interfere with your normal activities.
Caring for an Ileostomy Pouch

After colon cancer surgery, some people require an ileostomy, which connects the end of the small intestine to the skin of the abdomen. Learn what you need to know to care for an ileostomy.
Colon Cancer: Help for Family and Friends

When someone is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, many people are affected. Here are tips to help family and friends cope with a loved one’s diagnosis.

Treatment & Care

Many colon cancer treatment options are available for colorectal cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Here’s what to expect from each type of treatment and tips for recovery.
Treatment
Colon Polyp Removal and Other Precancerous Conditions

Learn how colon polyps are removed and why it’s so important to stay on top of these and other precancerous conditions.
Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Here’s a quick rundown of the options available for colorectal cancer treatment from surgery to cutting-edge biologic therapy.
Colon Cancer: Treatment by Stage

Here you’ll find detailed information on how the various stages of colon cancer are treated — from stage 0 to stage IV and also recurrent colon cancer.
Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage

Here you’ll find detailed information on how the various stages of rectal cancer are treated — from stage 0 to stage IV and also recurrent rectal cancer.
Colon Cancer Chemotherapy

Learn about the different ways chemotherapy is used to treat colon cancer and rectal cancer and the side effects of commonly used chemotherapy drugs.
New Colon Cancer Drugs: Avastin and Erbitux

New medications called monocolonal antibodies are the latest options for treating colon cancer and rectal cancer. Learn more here.
Understanding Colostomy and Colon Cancer

Some people require a colostomy — an opening between the surface of the skin and the colon — after colon cancer surgery. It can be permanent or temporary. Learn when it may be necessary.
Surgery to Treat Colorectal Cancer

Learn more about surgery to treat colorectal cancer here.
Care
Colon Cancer Specialists: What to Look for

People with colorectal cancer often encounter several types of doctors when going through treatment. Learn about the different specialists and find out how to build your cancer team.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Colon Cancer

Be your own best advocate. Know which questions to ask your doctor about your type of colorectal cancer.
Your Doctor: Your Cancer Partner

Partnering with your doctor helps give you a sense of control and may lead to better treatment. Here’s how to get started.
Related Guide: Managing Colon Cancer Pain

Getting control of pain that you may have is vitally important. Find out what causes cancer pain and which treatments may be right for you.
Video: New Approach to Colorectal Cancer Pain

Learn about a new way some doctors are using to gauge a patient’s level of pain — and determine if more — or less — pain treatment is needed in this WebMD video.
Video: Cupping: Alternative Medicine for Cancer Pain

Learn about cupping, an alternative medicine treatment for cancer pain, in this WebMD video.
Colon Cancer and Nausea

Thanks to new drugs and other treatments, you can control nausea from chemotherapy. Find out how.
Chemotherapy and Colon Cancer Side Effects

Learn simple ways to cope with the “terrible triad” of nausea, hair loss, and fatigue from chemotherapy.
Tool: Anemia in Colon Cancer

Tired and worn out? Check out WebMD’s animated guide on chemotherapy-related anemia to see if anemia may be the cause.
Am I Cured? Understanding Your Colon Cancer Prognosis

What does the future hold? Learn more about the outlook for colorectal cancer and what happens if the cancer comes back.
Follow-Up Care for Colon Cancer

Regular checkups help ensure that any changes in your health are noticed; and if the cancer returns, it can be treated as soon as possible.

Diagnosis & Tests

Finding colorectal cancer early is the key to beating it. There are many different tests to detect colorectal cancer. Here you’ll learn what to expect from each test and procedure.
Diagnosis
Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Here you’ll find an overview of the tests used to screen for colorectal cancer as well as tests used to evaluate colon cancer.
Tests
Stool Test for Colon Cancer

Finding colon cancer early is key to beating it. That’s why doctors recommend a yearly fecal occult blood test, which tests for invisible blood in the stool, an early sign of colon cancer.
Colonoscopy for Colon Cancer

One of the best tools for detecting colon cancer is a colonoscopy. Learn how it’s performed and how to prepare.
CT Scan for Colon Cancer & Other Imaging Tests

Learn about the different imaging tests used to screen and diagnose colon cancer.
Genetic Testing for Colon Cancer

Should you have genetic testing for colon cancer? Learn more here to see if it might be right for you.

Understanding Colorectal Cancer – Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

In its early stage, colorectal cancer usually produces no symptoms. The most likely warning signs include:

* Changes in bowel movements, including persistent constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely, an urgency to move the bowels, rectal cramping, or rectal bleeding
* Dark patches of blood in or on stool; or long, thin, “pencil stools”
* Abdominal discomfort or bloating
* Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite and/or weight loss
* Pelvic pain, which occurs at later stages of the disease

Colorectal Cancer

Colon cancer and cancer of the rectum usually begin as a small polyp. While most colon polyps are benign, some do become cancerous. Colon cancer symptoms may include a change in bowel habits or bleeding, but usually colon cancer strikes without symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get a colon cancer screening test, such as a colonoscopy. If the cancer is found early, the doctor can use surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy for effective treatment.