Bleeding might be common, but it’s not normal. Please seek attention!
Rectal bleeding is very common, but don’t ignore it. A common story in young people with bowel cancer diagnoses is the occurrence of bleeding, and presuming this is haemorrhoids.
Rectal bleeding may be visible on the toilet paper, in the bowl or mixed with the stool. It may be painless, or associated with a painful condition of the anus. It can occur without a triggering event, or be associated with definite events such as an increase in constipation or anal sex. The colour, volume and nature of bleeding can help us determine where the bleeding is coming from.
Whilst rectal bleeding IS very often caused by haemorrhoids, or ‘piles’, it is important to have your symptoms assessed by your GP and your colorectal surgeon. Other conditions can co-exist, and it can be difficult to distinguish these symptoms from other conditions including bowel cancer, without assessment.
Fresh, or bright-red blood isn’t necessarily from haemorrhoids. Fresh blood means a source closer to the anus. This may be haemorrhoids or other anal problems, rectal problems including cancer, or an issue higher in the colon. Fresh blood doesn’t mean it’s not sinister, nor does bleeding alone necessarily mean cancer. Peace of mind is important, and assessment is strongly encouraged.
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