Does Colon Cancer Cause Dizziness?

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Dizziness is a vague symptom. This means it can be attributed by many factors and different health conditions. The main symptoms of colon cancer include abdominal pain, bowel movement changes, and blood in /on the stool. And these may vary from patient to patient. But does it also cause dizziness?

Understanding dizziness in general

Dizziness is a common condition. It is a familiar term used to describe two different things; ‘light /mild headedness’ and ‘vertigo’.

Light-headedness is relatively easier to treat than vertigo. It is often described as a feeling like your body might faint. And for vertigo, it is not only about light-headedness but also followed with the feeling like the world is spinning /moving around you!

Many times, the cause of dizziness is harmless or not serious. Even it often gets better quickly, either on its own or with treatment (typically it is easily treated).

However, it’s not always easy to determine the cause or underlying condition of the problem. As mentioned earlier, it is attributed by lots of factors and there are many numerous different conditions that can trigger it.

Common causes of light-headedness

image_illustration346Commonly, light-headedness can occur when there is poor supply of blood (oxygen) to the brain. The brain can have lack of blood supply with one or some of the following conditions:

  1. A sudden drop of blood pressure level. Blood pressure is a common parameter to monitor the health of blood circulation in the body. Normal blood pressure level is important for the health of the heart, too. Both too high (hypertension) and too low (hypotension) blood pressure are bad or even can be so harmful particularly if the change occurs suddenly!
  2. Dehydration can have an effect, too. It may occur due to fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or other conditions.
  3. If we get up too fast (suddenly) after lying down or sitting for many hours. This can cause a sudden change in blood pressure, especially in elderly people. See also sudden change in blood pressure after sitting or when standing in here!

Lack of blood that flow to the brain is not the single reason! Light-headedness may also a result from low blood sugar, flu, allergies, or cold. More serious causes include:

  1. Problems of heart such as abnormal heart beat or heart attack.
  2. Bleeding (internal bleeding) inside the body.
  3. Stroke – see more early signs of stroke in this article!

If your light-headedness is caused by a serious health condition, it usually comes with other symptoms. For instance, if it signals a stroke, you may also experience change in vision or other symptoms of stroke.


The effect of vertigo can be more serious than light-headedness. It also can be attributed by numerous different conditions – the following are some of them:

  1. Some inner ear problems, such as Meniere’s disease and Labyrinthitis (an infection by virus that affects the inner ear, it is usually followed with flu or cold).
  2. Benign positional vertigo, the most common type of vertigo. It usually occurs when a small piece of bone (bone-like calcium) breaks and freely floats inside the fluid-filled tubes in the inner ear. This can lead to confusing messages so thus the brain becomes difficult to determine your body position, making the feeling that everything is moving or spinning around you.
  3. Other causes may include; stroke, seizures, multiple sclerosis, internal bleeding in the brain, tumor in the brain, or the side effect of using certain medications.

Colon cancer and dizziness

Dizziness can be one of the main symptoms when the cancer grows or affects the brain. Even a very small cancerous growth in the brain can lead to some noticeable symptoms since the brain is one of the most critical organs of the body.

How about cancers in other parts of the body such as bowel cancers (including cancers of colon and rectum)? Do they cause dizziness, too?

Interestingly, colon cancer often causes anemia (a condition of when you have lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin). And anemia can lead to dizziness and even headache. See more this issue in this post!

The cancerous cells may also release certain substances into the lymphatic system and bloodstream. These substances may cause symptoms that are not typically associated with the cancer.

Colon cancer often spreads to the liver and lungs (see also this spread in here). If the cancer has spread to the lungs, it is more difficult to treat.

The secondary cancer in the lungs may trigger the increased production of hormone-like substances that can lead to high blood calcium levels. And this may have an effect on some muscles and nerves, making you easier to have weakness and dizziness.

Again, the feeling of dizzy is a vague symptom that can be attributed by a lot of factors. If it persists and you in-doubt to your condition, see a doctor promptly for more advice!


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