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Symptoms of Stage 1 Colon Cancer

In stage 1 colon cancer, the disease is localized, meaning it has not spread beyond the inner lining of the colon.

Recognizing the symptoms of stage 1 colon cancer is crucial for early detection and better treatment outcomes.

Colon Cancer Symptoms:

Changes in Bowel Habits:

One of the earliest signs of colon cancer is a noticeable and persistent change in bowel habits. Individuals may experience:

  • Diarrhea: Frequent, loose stools that last for more than a few days.
  • Constipation: Difficulty passing stools or a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
  • Alternating Bowel Habits: Unexplained shifts between diarrhea and constipation.

These changes can be indicative of an underlying issue and should not be ignored.

Blood in Stool:

The presence of blood in stool, which may appear bright red or dark, can be alarming. This symptom, known as hematochezia or melena, warrants immediate medical attention. While there can be various causes for rectal bleeding, it is crucial to rule out colon cancer.

Abdominal Discomfort:

Persistent abdominal discomfort or pain, such as cramps, gas, or bloating, can be an early sign of colon cancer. Such discomfort may be ongoing and unrelated to dietary factors.

Fatigue and Weakness:

Among the prominent colon cancer symptoms, Patients might feel fatigued or weak due to slight blood loss over time, leading to anemia.

Unexplained Weight Loss:

Unintentional weight loss is often a concerning symptom, especially if it occurs rapidly without changes in diet or physical activity. Colon cancer can lead to weight loss due to factors such as decreased appetite and metabolic changes.

Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Colon cancer can lead to chronic bleeding, which may not always be visible in the stool. Over time, this can result in iron deficiency anemia, characterized by fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.

Incomplete Evacuation:

A feeling of not fully emptying the bowel after a bowel movement might be experienced.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and not everyone with these symptoms will have colon cancer.

However, if these signs persist for an extended period, or if there’s a family history of colon cancer, it is essential to consult a doctor for proper evaluation.

Is 1st stage colon cancer curable?

Stage 1 colon cancer has an excellent chance of being cured.

The 5-year survival rate for stage 1 colon cancer is more than 90%. 

The success of Colon Cancer Treatment in Mumbai depends on several factors. i.e.

The aggressiveness of the tumour, patients’ overall health and treatment compliance. Based on these factors the results may vary.  

How long can colon cancer go unnoticed?

Most colonic cancers start off as polyps which finally turn malignant.

It is estimated that it takes around 10-15 years for certain polyps to turn cancerous and most of the time these polyps are asymptomatic.

Because of this long window period available, there is ample opportunity to identify and treat these polyps before they turn malignant.

Majority of the early-stage colon cancers are without symptoms. By the time symptoms develop cancer may be at a more advanced stage.

For this simple reason, many countries have started screening programs to detect these cancers early. 

If you have lower bowel complaints that are not subsiding within two week time you should seek medical attention as these could be warning signs of colorectal cancer. 

Read More: Understanding Types of Colon Cancer

Treatment of stage 1 colon cancer

stage 1 colon cancer is confined to the colonic wall without any spread to the surrounding nodes and organs. 

The colonic wall involvement is of two categories in stage 1,

  • T1 : When the tumour has spread to the submucosa

  • T2 : When the tumour has spread to the muscle layer of the colonic wall. 

Some T1 tumours are candidates for endoscopic treatment. Several tumour-related factors are evaluated before endoscopic treatment.

Only if the tumour characteristics of a T1 cancer are favourable, endoscopic treatment is suggested.

The majority of stage 1 tumours need surgical removal for successful treatment.

In surgery, the affected part of the colon is removed with adequate normal colon proximally and distally along with the lymph nodes that drain the affected area. This procedure is called colectomy

Depending on the portion affected, the surgery could be a 

  1. Right colectomy
  2. Left colectomy
  3. Transverse colectomy
  4. extended right colectomy 

These surgeries can be performed by traditional Open surgery or Laparoscopic /Robotic surgery by an expert.

Looking the Best Doctor for Colon Cancer?

Look no further! Trust the expertise of Dr. Praveen Kammar is a well known Colon Cancer Specialist in Mumbai.

Survivorship of stage 1 colon cancer

A five-year survival rate of 64% is expected for those diagnosed with colon cancer. This is the survival rate taken as a whole.

People who get a diagnosis of their ailment while it is still in its early stages have a survival percentage estimated to be 91% higher than average.

Read More: Stage 4 Colon Cancer Symptoms


Keep up with the screening schedule your doctor has given you for cancer, and if you see any troubling signs or symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can.

This will increase the probability of any possible tumours being recognized at an earlier stage in their development.

In addition, the earlier a patient’s cancer is diagnosed, and treatment started, the better their chances of a favourable prognosis after the disease has been diagnosed.


    About Author
    Dr. Praveen Kammar

    Surgical Oncologist


    Years Of Experience

    Dr. Praveen Kammar is a Best Surgical Oncologist in Mumbai. His main area of expertise aslso includes GI oncology, Gynecological cancers, minimal access surgeries, Robotics surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, HIPEC.

    Dr. Praveen has done more than 6000+ surgeries in his expertise.

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