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A 37-year-old member asked:

Is blood on toilet paper after a bowel movement a common sign of colon cancer?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 24 years experience
Not necessarily: The most common causes of blood in the toilet paper are perhaps hemorrhoidal bleeding or bleeding from anal fissure. That does not mean that other causes like anal cancer/rectal cancer can't give that presentation. So, see your doctor and discuss further with your doctor. Further evaluation will need to be done- including direct examination, GI work-up like colonsocopy etc as indicated.
Dr. Lester Thompson
Pathology 34 years experience
Not necessarily: Blood in stool is a possible sign of colon cancer, but blood on toilet paper may be part of hemorrhoids (or if female, vaginal bleeding). Polyps and inflammatory bowel disease can also cause blood in the stool. Colonoscopy with guiac stool testing can help to sort this out.
Dr. William Nyman
Radiology 39 years experience
Not necessarily: Red blood on the toilet is not uncommon occasionally and can be caused by things such as a tiny anal erosion or fissure(especially with constipation) it can also be from a hemorrhoid. Blood mixed with stool or dark stool can be from bleeding farther inside the colon and should be investigated. Screening colonoscopy is recommended once you've reached 50 even with no symptoms.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Hemorrhoid more like: Bright blood on toilet paper is more likely to be due to hemorrhoids than colon cancer. However, even hemorrhoids can cause anemia and related health problems. Bleeding from any orifice is a good reason to consult your doctor.

Similar questions

A 48-year-old member asked:

Blood everytime I have bowel movement. Could this be colon cancer?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Ryan
Dentistry 51 years experience
It depends : If blood in the stool is red, it may be from a hemorrhoid. This needs to be evaluated and treated, but is fairly common. If the blood or stool is darker (black) and has a 'tar-like' appearance, it is more indicative of a bleed in the upper areas of the GI tract. This is more significant and needs more prompt evaluation and treatment. Seek evaluation by a qualified professional asap to differentiat.

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Last updated Oct 23, 2017

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