Rectal Bleeding: Should You Be Worried?

Rectal Bleeding… Beware That Which Is Concealed!

Passing blood in the stools is a common problem. For some patients, the sight of blood in the toilet bowl is alarming but others simply blame it on piles and brush it off.

Rectal bleeding is always significant and requires further investigation and assessment by a specialist.


Well, though the commonest cause is probably piles (which are usually just troublesome rather than serious) rectal bleeding can also be due to other diseases in the large bowel.

Even if you DO have piles – (because piles are so common) it is possible for someone to have piles but be bleeding from Something Else in the large bowel.

And that Something Else could be serious….


Possible Causes of Rectal Bleeding
  • Anal fissure
  • Anal fistula
  • Diverticular disease
  • Colitis & Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Angiodysplasia
  • Polyps
  • Cancer

Notice the last two?

Polyps & Cancer.

You certainly do NOT want to miss picking up a hidden colon cancer, just because someone called it piles without checking out your bowel.

And as for polyps, there is quite a lot of evidence to link polyps to cancer.

So, if you have polyps, you wouldn’t want to be keeping those either.

As for the other things, Diverticular Disease can cause massive serious bleeding as well as perforation or obstruction but at the end of the day, it is totally benign and does not keep getting worse with time, like polyps and cancer.


What To Do If You Have Rectal Bleeding

So if you’re thinking: does rectal bleeding have anything to do with cancer?

First, don’t scare yourself unnecessarily. We won’t know until we conduct a thorough examination.

Make an appointment to see me.

I would probably advise a scope examination of the large bowel, called a colonoscopy.

If after the scope examination everything inside you is normal, we can then blame the bleeding on piles and be certain that we are not missing something potentially dangerous inside.

Then we can both breathe a sigh of relief!


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