Of patients diagnosed with colon cancer, what percentage present with symptoms, such as bleeding as well as low hemoglobin and positive fecal occult blood?

Bottom line: Rectal bleeding and abdominal pain are common (more than 40% of patients studied) symptoms; weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, and/or weight loss can be present in 25% of patients.  Hemoglobin < 12 g/dl can occur in about 25% of patients, while positive fecal occult blood test result is less common.

Summary:  Hamilton W, et al. Clinical features of colorectal cancer before diagnosis: a population-based case-control study. Br J Cancer. 2005 Aug 22;93(4):399-405.

Population-based case-control study of patients (n=379) age 40+ diagnosed with primary colorectal cancer 1998-2002 in a community.  Each case matched to 5 controls.  Reviewed records for symptoms and test results during 2 years prior to diagnosis.  RESULTS:Table 2 summarizes rates of various symptoms and test results for the cases and the controls.


About Amy

Clinical Informationist at EUH Branch Library
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