If early stage colorectal cancer does cause symptoms, early warning signs may include unexplained weight loss and or narrow, ribbon like stools. Other common early warning signs of colon or colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding, either bright or dark red in color, narrow stools, tenesmus, which is the feeling that you have to empty your bowel but nothing passes, anemia caused by iron deficiency, persistent abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss. Although these symptoms may be caused by other conditions such as hemorrhoids, ulcers and Crohn’s disease, they should be discussed with a doctor. Blood in the stool, even if it only appears intermittently, should never be ignored. If you experience any of these colon cancer symptoms for an extended period of time, it is important that you visit a healthcare professional. You should also talk with your doctor about when to begin colon cancer screening. Guidelines generally recommend that colon cancer screenings begin around 50. Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier screening if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.