Colon Cancer | Early Warning Signs & Stages of Colon Cancer

9) Anemia

Anemia is a symptom as well as complication of many types of cancers, including colon cancer. It refers to low hemoglobin or a low number of red blood cells that results in reduced oxygen supply to the organs. The most obvious symptom of anemia includes paleness of the skin and eyes, shortness of breath, dizziness, a fast or irregular heartbeat, and cold hands and feet. It can also contribute to the development of chronic fatigue and weakness.

Iron deficiency anemia usually develops in right-sided colon cancer. This happens when there is continuous bleeding secondary to the damage to the blood supply. Reduced capacity of red blood cells to carry and deliver oxygen and the collection and excretion of metabolic waste products also affect healthy cells.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Cancer shows that there is a strong connection between cancers (colon cancer among them) and anemia. The same study also confirms iron deficiency as a predictor of colon cancer, especially that affecting the right side of the colon.

If your skin is turning pale or you often feel fatigue after day-to-day activities like walking or climbing the stairs, consult your physician to get your hemoglobin levels checked.