Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent
When To Call a Doctor
Some people who have metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer do not have any symptoms for some time. Colorectal cancer may be discovered before symptoms appear, either on X-rays or other lab tests.
You may be seeing a doctor regularly to check for symptoms, but symptoms might start between visits. Be aware of what is normal for you, and tell your doctor about any changes right away. Be sure to let your doctor know if you feel even very small changes.
What symptoms you may have will depend on which part of your body is affected by the cancer. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- A change in bowel habits, such as bleeding from your rectum, bright red or dark blood in your stools, frequent diarrhea, constipation, a feeling that your bowel is not emptying completely, or stools that are narrow (may be no wider than a pencil)
- Pain in your belly
- Bloating or loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant tiredness (fatigue)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Bone pain
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without giving treatment to cure your cancer. Watchful waiting may be an option if treatment may cause more harm than good and cannot cure your cancer. Remember, though, that watchful waiting does not mean your doctor won't treat your symptoms, such as pain.
Who To See
If you have been treated for colorectal cancer, doctors who can evaluate any new symptoms include:
- Reference Gastroenterologist Opens New Window.
- Reference Internist Opens New Window.
- Reference Family medicine doctor Opens New Window.
- Reference Colon and rectal surgeon Opens New Window.
- Reference Medical oncologist Opens New Window.
- Reference Radiation oncologist Opens New Window.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal