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Rectal Bleeding


Rectal Bleeding : can be a sign of a serious disease

Although rectal bleeding is common and most causes are treatable and not serious. In some cases, rectal bleeding can be a symptom of a serious disease such as colorectal cancer, anal cancer, hemorrhoids and gastrointestinal bleeding.

The color of the blood can indicate where the bleeding is coming from:

  • Bright red blood : usually indicates bleeding low in the colon or rectum which may be a sign of haemorrhoids, constipation or other localised conditions.
  • Dark red or maroon blood : usually indicates bleeding higher in the colon, the small bowel or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Melena mixed with blood clots : usually means bleeding in the stomach which may be a sign of colon cancer or colitis.

Diagnostic Tests for Rectal Bleeding

  • Proctoscopy : an endoscopic procedure used to examine the anal canal, rectum, and the sigmoid colon
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy : a procedure that allows doctor to examine the rectum and the lower colon.
  • Colonoscopy : an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum.

The treatment for rectal bleeding depends on the cause and source of the bleeding.

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