Signs & Symptoms of End Stage Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Updated February 21, 2017

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer among both men and women. It is most common among people over the age of 50 and people who have colon polyps or a high fat diet are more susceptible to it. Colon cancer is frequently treatable if it is caught early but can be very difficult to cure the longer it is allowed to progress. The end stages of the disease are marked by some extremely unpleasant, often painful, symptoms.


Pain can be very intense in the final stages of colon cancer because the disease has metastasised to other areas of the body. It can spread to the bone, which will cause severe pain in the area affected. This is especially common in the back, hips, and pelvis. If there are tumours in the brain, severe headaches will likely result. If tumours have formed on or around the spinal cord, pain could be deferred to many other areas of the body.

Weight Loss

Colon cancer typically doesn't have many symptoms in the early stages of the disease but major weight loss starts to occur as the cancer spreads to other parts of the body in the later stages. The body struggles to get proper nourishment, there is a loss of appetite and the digestive tract does not have as much room for food due to the tumours. All of this combines to cause the patient to potentially lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time and he may need to be fed intravenously to keep nutrients flowing into the body.

Breathing Difficulty

Colon cancer frequently spreads to the lungs in the later stages and as a result, the patient's breathing can become very laboured. Coughing up blood is another symptom that the cancer has spread to the lungs. Coughing and chest pains are also frequent and the patient may require a respirator to ensure that he is getting the proper amount of air.

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About the Author

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.