According to the National Cancer Institute, there are an average of 140,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer in the United States each year. Typical symptoms include blood in the stool, cramping, constant diarrhea or chronic constipation. "Readers Digest" published a list today of 3 symptoms lesser known signs, that may indicate the presence of cancer in the colon or rectum. These are signs that you may not necessarily pay attention to, or pass off as something other than cancer. Paying attention to your body and notifying your health care provider if you should observe you are dealing with one of more of these symptoms may just save your life.

Shortness of breath

Most people consider breathing issues to be related to respiratory issues, such as a cold, flu, bronchitis, or asthma. Shortness of breath may also possibly be a sign of Colorectal Cancer. If you find it harder to breathe, please see your medical practitioner, so you can find out the root of what is going on.

Feeling weak, dizzy or light headed

Should you notice that you are feeling dizzy, weak or light headed, on a regular basis, it may be more than standing up suddenly, drinking too much, or missing a meal. This too could indicate the presence of cancer in your colon, or rectum.

A skinny stool.

Any significant changes in bowel habits that do not go away should be suspect. Stools that are thin should be a red flag.

Again should you notice this or any other significant change, in your bowels, please get checked out by a professional.

Keeping a check on things

According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of colon cancer increases as we age. There ae 140,000 new cases of colon or rectal cancer each year in the United States. Of those diagnosed, about 93% are over the age of 50.

This is why the recommended age for beginning colorectal cancer screening is recommended to begin at age 50. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, a history of colon cancer in your family, and a sedentary lifestyle. Crohn's disease, a history of polyps or other issues that continually inflame the bowels may also increase risk.

Colorectal cancer is detected by a colonoscopy, which is pretty invasive. If however, you are not at high risk or experiencing any symptoms, your health care provider may suggest a pre-screening. This consists of a kit that you take home. You obtain your stool sample and mail it in. If everything is ok, there will be no need for a full colonoscopy.