A member asked:

Good morning doctors. could i have colon or bowel cancer if the only symptoms are change in bowel habits and some mild constipation but the stool is all brown and not at all black or red?

2 doctors weighed in across 2 answers

Screening for colon cancer involves more than the appearance of the stool. These tests are FDA approved for colon cancer screening: guaiac FOBT (gFOBT); the fecal immunochemical (or immunohistochemical) test (FIT, also known as iFOBT); and multitargeted stool DNA testing (also known as FIT-DNA). Colonoscopy is routinely recommended every 5-10 years, depending on risk.

Answered 2/28/2023

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Dr. Silviu Pasniciuc answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

Colon cancer cannot be ruled out by the stool color, as the majority of constipation is lifestyle related and not cancer. Best to let your doc decide if further test will be needed based on objective findings and detailed history.

Answered 2/28/2023

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