5 doctors weighed in:

Does blood in stool always mean cancer?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Craig MacArthur
Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Not always

Hemorrhoids, non-cancerous polyps, some colon infections, and arteriovenous malformations are just some non -cancerous causes of hematochezia (red bleeding).
Ulcers and gastritis are causes of upper GI bleeding that is frequently melena ( black tarry stools). Crohn's disease can cause melena or hematochezia.

In brief: Not always

Hemorrhoids, non-cancerous polyps, some colon infections, and arteriovenous malformations are just some non -cancerous causes of hematochezia (red bleeding).
Ulcers and gastritis are causes of upper GI bleeding that is frequently melena ( black tarry stools). Crohn's disease can cause melena or hematochezia.
Dr. Craig MacArthur
Dr. Craig MacArthur
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Dr. Jefferson Chen
Neurosurgery

In brief: Not necessarily

Blood in the stool can occur for a variety of reasons, the most concerning of which is cancer.
Certainly if there is blood in the stool it needs to be evaluated. The amount of blood, the color of the blood give indications of possible causes. For example, hemorhhoids may bleed from irritation, but may lead to bright red blood in the stool. Cancers may lead to occult blood in the stool.

In brief: Not necessarily

Blood in the stool can occur for a variety of reasons, the most concerning of which is cancer.
Certainly if there is blood in the stool it needs to be evaluated. The amount of blood, the color of the blood give indications of possible causes. For example, hemorhhoids may bleed from irritation, but may lead to bright red blood in the stool. Cancers may lead to occult blood in the stool.
Dr. Jefferson Chen
Dr. Jefferson Chen
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