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Cancer: Rectal & Anal Message Board
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:42 PM   #1
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identifying blood in the stool?

Hi to all. i am 22 years old. for 4 months i have changes in my bowel movements. i usually have loose stools and mucus around them. sometimes it is like small balls. the color changes from dark to light.sometimes the same stool has both dark and light parts. i had many blood tests and a stool test once.they were all ok. doctor told me that i had IBS.but i did'nt have a colonoscopy or something like that.Honestly i am very very scared about the possibility of colon cancer. i wonder how does blood look like in a stool? sometimes i saw very very tiny red things (?) on the toilet paper but don't know what they are. if you could help me i'll be really happy.

 
Old 03-12-2005, 04:36 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: identifying blood in the stool?

I have very similar stuff happen and didn't think much of it for a long time. Sometimes a stool has both darker and lighter brown parts. Then not too long ago I had an ache in my rectum and went to the ER because after about a week of freaking out I couldn't wait any longer. They didn't know what it was for sure and the doc did a digital rectal exam and didn't feel anything but thought maybe an internal hemorrhoid anyway (?). The ache went away not long after that and now I wonder about my stool all the time. The dark and light parts, sometimes looks flattened on one side (maybe from a hemorrhoid?) But the ER doctor did the thing where after the rectal exam he smeared it on this card which i am pretty sure is a test for blood and he didn't say anything so I guess it was negative.
Anyway, I think that if there is blood in your stool it shows up more dark, almost black as opposed to just a little bit darker brown than usual.
I don't know about the tiny red things, though.. It's not streaks of blood?

 
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

thanks for the reply. those red things seem not be streaks. they look like very small jelly pieces of an undigested tomatoe. and sometimes some areas of my stoll seems really dark, i mean black, while other parts seem much lighter. should i be worried? Can it be normal?

 
Old 03-13-2005, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

I am no expert, but I think there are things other than blood that can cause dark stool. Just looking around online (I've searched this stuff before because of my own health anxieties) Iron supplements, block licorice, pepto bismol can cause it. So could be something to do with your diet. If the stool test you had didn't show any blood then what's the worry? I mean, do you have any reason to distrust that?
For someone who is 22, colon cancer is very unlikely. Maybe the red things could be undigested bits. Been eating anything red lately? If it looks like tomoato skin, it may well be just that or something similar like red peppers.

Also, if you are very anxious, it can cause or worsen stomach problems!

 
Old 03-13-2005, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Black tarry stool indicates bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract. Bright red blood around the stool, or on the paper looks like blood. Any ER doc who just did a smear on a seracult card when you thought you saw blood is an idiot. One of the symptoms of rectal cancer is INTERMITTENT bleeding, so basically a card is useless. Also, just conducting a digital rectal exam is unacceptable. And you CAN'T feel an internal hemorhoid. However, changes in stool size, color, etc. can be perfectly normal, and changes with what you eat, how much fiber you take in, and how much water you drink.

But, if you have flattened stools and specs that you believe to be blood, then you need at the very least a sigmoidoscopy. If I were you, I would go to a Gastroenterologist and tell him/her that you want a colonoscopy. You are given drugs for the procedure, and the worst part is the prep (lots of diarrhea-- Use hemmorhoid cream to protect the anus). I suspect the "specs" you describe may well be undigested tomoato, but bottom line is colorectal cancer is WAY underdiagnosed by Internal Med/GP's. I guess they simply don't know what to do. That is why most cases present so advanced. This is incompetence, and is unacceptable. You put your health in their hands, to tell you what's normal and not and what tests to have. It's insane.
Did they ask of a family history? Do you have a family history of Colorectal Cancer?

Don't let them tell you you are too young for it to be cancer. And the longer you wait if it is something bad, the worse it will get. I began bleeding rectally at 28. Complained to my GP who wrote it off as stress, or probably a hemmorhoid, or because I was under a lot of stress. She too "felt" a hemmorhoid... turned out to be a tumor. I was dx with Stage 3C Rectal Cancer at 31.

My point is not to scare you until you have something to worry about. But, March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Do yourselves a favor and call your GP and TELL them you want a referral to a Gastroenterologist. It well may save your life.

Good Luck,
CancerDad

 
Old 03-13-2005, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Now I'm a little concerned, too, CancerDad.
I went into the doctor about a month ago complaining about what I thought was constipation, a dull ache in the rectum, and two times a saw a little red streak on stool, but it turned out not to be constipation, my rectum was just feeling full all the time and so I kept sitting on the toilet which made it worse and develop into an ache. I also felt some groin pain. That's when he didn the rectal exam and said he didn't feel anything. Took a urine sample and no UTI. They said probably an internal hemorrhoid (and I hear that although they usually don't feel like anything they CAN sometimes cause an ache or full feeling) and go back to the doctor if it doesn't go away.
So when I understood that it just felt like I had to go to the bathroom and didn't actually have to go all the time, the ache and full feeling went away after a little while. Bowels seemed back to normal. The groin pain also faded.
Now a month later I feel some of the groin ache again and I got scared. Went to another doctor who checked for hernia (makes sense given the straining from before) but felt no bulges. Said don't worry about it and see if it goes away and if it doesn't go see a specialist.
People on the bowel disorder board tell me that my symptoms sound just like the fissure or hemorrhoid that some of them have had and that the ache from these can sometimes be felt throughout the pelvic region(they know from seeing specialists). Now I wonder, though, if this board will yield different results. I was feeling a little less anxious from the bowel disorder board, but now I'm scared again!

 
Old 03-13-2005, 08:33 PM   #7
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

I don't mean to make you scared. But I do mean to make you take this seriously. You should NEVER assume that ANY blood is caused by a hemmorhoid until it is confirmed via sigmoidoscope or colonoscope. I learned the hard way... trusted my GP like an idiot. Anyway, what's done is done. But what the docs are telling you is ridiculous. A feeling of incomplete evacuation is another symptom of cancer.... increased frequency also. Now it could be something as simple as a hemmorhoid... let's hope it is. But, the thing is DON'T WAIT. Get it checked out by someone who really knows what the heck they are talking about. Get peace one way or another.

Good Luck, and Please don't hesitate to ask any other questions and keep us posted. We have a great bunch of people with a Lot of experience.

CancerDad

Last edited by CancerDad; 03-13-2005 at 08:34 PM.

 
Old 03-13-2005, 09:05 PM   #8
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Thank you, CancerDad. I was taking it seriously but then doctors, mother, friends kept telling me I was worrying over nothing. Then symptoms faded so I felt better. But now, a month later, I feel it a little bit again I am getting worried.
It really sucks that my mother is absolutely convinced that I am somehow doing this to myself even though I have never really worried much about my health or had any serious health problems in the past. She thinks I am trying to worry about something other than getting a job which is ridiculous (just graduated college Feb 1st). I try to explain that I read it could be serious but she does not seem to believe me (certainly not over the GP). Everyone seems to think a couple red spots on the stool is nothing to worry about. I've only seen a small streak or spot two times during the aching over a month ago. I have been paying attention.

I guess I'm going to schedule a full physical from a different doctor that I hear is very good. Hopefully he can figure this out or refer me to a specialist.

Too bad it takes so long to schedule these appointments because I'm going crazy! Everyone says just calm down and forget about it, but how can I?

 
Old 03-14-2005, 02:25 AM   #9
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Thank you both. I wonder that if there is bleeding somewhere higher up in the intestinal tract does it make the whole stool black or only some parts of it. As i have said i have weird stools.it is not exactly diarrhea or constipation. They are composed of several loose pieces, some dark in color some light. And i usually have 2 bowel movements or rarely 3 a day.It was one a day in the past.

And can those tiny red things or dots on the toilet paper be because that i wipe too much after a bowel movement until it is exactly clean?

On the other hand my family and friends, like in the case of phantoap, do not take me serious. They say all these are because of stress. Iím just about to graduate from university. Even the gastroentrologist (?) i saw didnít take me serious. She listened to my symptoms and asked me several questions such as if i saw blood, lost weight or had a cancer history in the family.Also i showed her the blood and stool tests i had done before. Then she told me i was IBS. That is all. I think i have to convince my family to see a serious doctor.

And CancerDad, how are you now? It is very kind of you to try to inform and help other people. i wish you,phantoap and all good-people the best.

Last edited by bedixamanwa; 03-14-2005 at 02:27 AM.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Hi Bed and Phan:
It's unfortunate what crappy docs are out there! PLEASE, listen to your bodies. Bed... you obviously have the WRONG GI. Because any competent one would take you seriously and not dx you with IBS when you are describing bleeding without doing more testing. You NEED to go see another GI... ask around, someone you trust, who a good GI is in your area and get a referral. Then you tell them you want a colonoscopy for peace of mind, because it IS warranted. You can even call up a respectable GP's office and Ask who they refer to for a GI.... they should tell you without an appointment if they care about giving good healthcare. Then schedule an appointment, call your GP you currently have and tell them you are seeing a GI b/c you have rectal bleeding and NEED a referral so insurance will pay.

Phan... you need to do the same thing. Stop listening to your Mom, or other loved ones. No one wants to think that there is something wrong with you, but you are an adult, responsible for your own body. Listen to it!!!!!! Give yourself some credit. Go to a GI and tell them you want a colonoscopy, again like Bed... b/c you have seen blood, and want peace of mind. Tell them you know of young people who have been dx with colon or rectal cancer, and you KNOW bleeding is NOT NORMAL and the ONLY acceptable way to rule out something serious IS a colonoscopy. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but it could save both your lives.

Please keep us posted.

Regards,
CancerDad

 
Old 03-15-2005, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

i've indentified blood in my stool, it's bright red on the toilet paper,
and the water inside the toiled is red too, which suggests a lot of bleeding.
what could this be?

 
Old 03-16-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Quote:
Originally Posted by winniefoster
i've indentified blood in my stool, it's bright red on the toilet paper,
and the water inside the toiled is red too, which suggests a lot of bleeding.
what could this be?
Hi. Indeed there are a lot of reasons for rectal bleeding including hemorrhoid, anal fissure or much more serious things. In order to be sure you have to see a Gastroenterolog i think. i hope it is nothing important.

As CancerDad adviced, i have arranged a meeting on Friday with a suggested Gastroenterolog. And i am going to ask for colonoscopy. No other thing would make me relax i think. I hope all goes well for everyone.

 
Old 03-16-2005, 01:19 PM   #13
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

One thing that you can do is ask your family physician to do a stool test, usually u will need to save the sample of stool for 2-3 days

Daisy

 
Old 03-16-2005, 02:42 PM   #14
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Re: identifying blood in the stool?

Tiger:
Unfortunately, turning over a stool sample is as good as smearing on a seracult card looking for blood. Bottom line is if you SAW it, then you NEED a Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy (but I say go with the colonoscopy, because you are given meds to make you more comfortable, and will only end up with a colonoscopy if nothing is found on sigmoid... might as well get your entire large intestine looked at, and have the peace of mind that any polyps are taken care of.) One symptom of Rectal Cancer is INTERMITTENT bleeding. So, if you turn over a sample when you are not bleeding, you missed it. If you SAW blood, you NEED to have yourself checked. No if ands or buts about it... no pun intended!

Regards,
CancerDad

 
Old 04-19-2005, 09:45 PM   #15
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Wink Re: identifying blood in the stool?

hi cancerdad: i want to thank you for educating me and getting me motivated to call my"gp"" and insisting on a colonosopy. a few weeks ago i was in his office for a sinus infection, i happened to mention i had found blood in my stool that morning, he gave me a 3 day smear card, i got a call today saying they found blood in 1 sample out of 3 and that they want me to do it again. this coming from a "gp" with a big "medical group" that has been ignoring my symptoms for the last 3 years, chalking it up to im "depressed" and suffer from "panic" and "anxiety", and just gives me antidepressents as the "cure". on my way to work i will be stopping by his office and will not be leaving until i have that referral in my hand. if colon cancer is intermintent then of course i will only have 1 sample showing blood in the stool, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE GPS? anyways thank again, i guess tomorrow morning he will see what a CRAZY PERSON i truely am.... i recall having little specs of blood on the paper a while back, but never thought much of it because i was having trouble in that area anyways, consipation, lots of gas ect... a few hemmorids on the outside, i treated them with ointment on the outside and that was that, and then of course here came the streaks in my stool.... thanks again for the motivation. good luck to you! take care....

 
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