Blood In Stool
Blood in Stool
There are many different types of blood that can occur in a stool and numerous conditions that can cause blood in stool. The most common type of blood that can occur in a stool is due to anal fissures or hemorrhoids. This blood is usually bright red in color and is easily noticed. It may be present on toilet paper after a bowel movement, or may be visible on the stool itself. This is a common health issue but if it occurs frequently, it is very important to get medical attention.
Bright Red Blood in Stool
Sometimes blood in the stool may be profuse and bright red in color. This is a very serious condition and should not be ignored. Common causes for this type of blood in a stool are colitis, diverticulitis and colon cancer. The blood may be attributed to a polyp or tumor located inside the digestive tract, or it may be caused by an irritation of the lining of the intestine. Regardless of its cause, if you notice blood in your stool of this variety, it is vital to seek medical help. Anemia can occur or it may be a sign of a serious health problem.
Occult bleeding is often misunderstood and unfortunately, missed. It is dark red in color, and may be hard to spot in a stool. This type of blood in a stool is most commonly linked with colon cancer, particularly with tumors that are located in the right section of the colon. In order to spot occult blood, it is recommended that patients monitor their bowel movements so that they become familiar with the usual color and consistency. This can be a life saving method that helps with early detection of cancer.
Colon Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society has issued new guidelines for colon cancer screening, and if you have experienced blood in your stool it is important to schedule a screening. Thos over the age of 50 should have a screening done every ten years, while those in a high risk category will need more frequent screenings. Colon cancer is treatable, especially when it is caught in the early stages.