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What Conditions Cause Bloody Bowel Movements?

Nov 10, 2022

What Conditions Cause Bloody Bowel Movements?
Blood in your stool can be alarming and a good reason to go see your doctor. Explore the possible causes here.

When you glance into the toilet and see blood after a bowel movement, or see blood on the toilet paper, you might feel alarmed at first. The sight of blood can be jarring, but bloody bowel movements don’t always come from something severe. 

Our oncology specialists at Arizona Center for Cancer Care strongly encourage you to set up an appointment to find out what’s causing blood in your bowel movements. Even if it turns out to be something mild, temporary, and treatable, you can address the issue and enjoy peace of mind. 

Arizona Center for Cancer Care has convenient locations all over the state of Arizona, including Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, and Tempe. 

As cancer specialists, the Arizona Center for Cancer Care team can diagnose or rule out cancerous causes of blood in your stool. If they detect cancer, they take note of the stage and get you on track to getting the treatment you need. 

Noncancerous concerns

There are lots of different conditions, mostly originating in or around your colon, that can lead you to see blood after a bowel movement. One way you can help our experts determine the cause of your symptom is to be specific about what you see: Is the stool bright red or almost black? What consistency is your stool? Are you also experiencing blood in your vomit?

In addition to getting the specifics about your symptoms, the team reviews your medical history and might perform some diagnostic tests. A few common possible causes that aren’t cancerous are:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Colon inflammation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Polyps

Procedures like endoscopy, colonoscopy, or a CT scan might be necessary for closer examination. 

Cancers to be aware of

As an oncology clinic, Arizona Center for Cancer Care explores bloody bowel movements primarily to identify cancers that cause them. Specifically, colorectal cancers can cause this symptom. 

When the blood in your stool is due to cancer in your colon or rectum, the bleeding tends to get worse over time instead of fluctuating or even going away for a while. It’s also common to experience pain along with your bloody bowel movements if colorectal cancer is present. 

While the bleeding tends to stay consistent or get worse, the consistency and shape of your stool may change. Changes in your stools could indicate an array of different causes, including harmless dietary changes, but you should report them to your provider if you also experience bleeding. 

Additionally, colorectal cancers are associated with nausea, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Through extensive diagnostic testing, the oncologists at Arizona Center for Cancer Care can identify your cancer as early as possible and get started with treatment. When colorectal cancers are diagnosed when they’re still benign and local, the survival rate is as high as 91%.

Get your tests or screening today

If you have concerns about colorectal cancers, especially if you see blood in your stool, schedule a visit by phone or online at Arizona Center for Cancer Care right away.