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Author Topic: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!  (Read 880 times)

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Offline Happenstance

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Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:36:55 PM »
I saw my GP today after some rectal bleeding I had a while ago, I had an internal exam, I have skin tags and piles. I see a lot of posts on here regarding rectal bleeding, and the most common cause is piles. You should always see your doctor if you have rectal bleeding.

My doctor said she has never seen a case of colon/rectal cancer in someone of my age (27) in her career as a GP. It's not impossible, but the risk increases with age, which is why here in the UK over 60s get a fecal occult blood test every two years.

The main causes in young people are:

Piles!!! These are not just a 'little niggle' believe me, I have been through the pain of these nasty things, they throb, they hurt, they sting and they BLEED! If you have pile symptoms, see your doctor as you may need a laxative, which is what I have because I am also an ex codeine addict on subutex, which has caused me constipation and piles. One bleeding pile can streak your stool with blood, fill the toilet with blood, cause blood to seep onto your pants, onto toilet paper, piles are horrible. If they are really bad, you can have them banded or injected with a shrinking agent. They can come back but banding and shrinking is the best treatment for persistent, large piles. Don't sit on it and suffer, see your doctor!.

Anal Fissure. A small tear in the anal/rectal wall These can be agonizing, they can make your anal sphincter go into spasm, they HURT, they BLEED and can fill the toilet with blood the same as piles, they are hard to heal and sometimes need treatment with a special ointment or in some cases a simple surgical procedure. See your doctor if you have symptoms of a fissure before it gets bigger and harder to treat.

Rectal prolapse. This is where some or even all of the rectum prolapses from the anus, usually following a bowel movement (poo). This is usually caused by excessive straining, childbirth or injury to the rectum. It can be treated with anything from diet and toilet habit changes to simple surgical procedures, so see your doctor if you have symptoms of a rectal prolapse.

Some other diseases can also cause rectal bleeding, which include diverticula disease, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcer (usually causes dark faeces) Crohn's Disease, rectal ulcer, polyps (will be removed during colonoscopy as they can turn to cancer over many years and are best out), and yes, cancer, but colorectal cancer in young people is very rare and if under 50 your bleeding is likely to be from any of the above. The most important thing is to see your doctor, yes it might be scary but imagine the relief when you find out, like me, there is nothing going on but some pesky piles? I don't know why piles are taken so lightly, they are to me anyway, one of the WORST things you can get wrong with you, the pain is abominable and living with them is just not worth the fuss and pain.

If your doctor suspects your bleeding is coming from somewhere higher up in your colon, they may order a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to check out your colon, most of these tests show up nothing but piles, which can be treated during the procedure.

So instead of sitting on the worry, pardon the pun, SEE THAT DOCTOR NOW and get it sorted! :)
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Offline Happenstance

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 09:40:08 PM »
I think this forum needs a sticky about rectal bleeding, because it is terrifying to see blood in your stool and it is SO common and a big cause of fear for many people, but it is seldom ever anything more serious than piles or a fissure (but these conditions still need to see a doctor as they can become really bad) Fissures can lead to a perianal abscess which is very hard to treat and untreated piles can thrombose and that is VERY painful.

I really cannot state how important seeing a doctor about this issue is, and having a rectal exam? have you put your socks on today? That's how easy that is, I barely felt a thing!. Sometimes the doctor will ask you to 'pinch in' like you are trying to hold in a stool so they can check your anal sphincter tone, but none of it is at all painful or even uncomfortable.
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Offline ceh1354

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 09:46:13 PM »
Thanks for the reassuring information. :happy0151:
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Offline Happenstance

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 08:56:49 AM »
Anytime! Having suffered piles and fissures myself due to constipation caused by my subutex treatment, I cannot emphasize how reassuring and important a trip to that doctor is! If you are in the US and do not have insurance, you can still be seen at free clinics, and your insurance should cover you for these conditions too. When I had a fissure I could hardly pass a poo at all, and the pain was the worst pain I have ever felt.

Piles, like I said above are NOT a small issue like so many people think they are and more awareness of them is needed. 99% of all people will suffer some form of the condition in their lives, and it is not nice at all. Piles can make having a poo one of the most painful things you will ever do!. Just 5 drops of blood from a bleeding pile can turn the toilet water bright red, streak your stool with blood and leave blood on the toilet paper after wiping, causing the fear and shock most people faced with this issue feel. A simple rectal exam can soon check for skin tags, fissures and piles, I have had all of those. Skin tags make wiping hard and can make your bottom very itchy, your GP can refer you to have these removed if needed. If your GP suspects you have occult (which simply means hidden, not mystic), bleeding in your bowel, they may offer you a three day FOB (faecal occult blood) test kit where you will take a small swab from three different stools over three days, and simply smear it on a square on each test card  (yes a bit yucky but it's all worth it if your GP thinks you need this test), and post the test off to a lab to be tested for hidden blood.
You can ask for a FOB test kit from your GP if you are at all worried and it can be carried out via digital rectal exam sometimes too. Don't buy the home test kits as they only test one stool, and some conditions like ulcers bleed on and off, so the test needs to be a proper, doctor recommended three day FOB test.

In the UK everyone over 60 automatically receives a FOB test kit in the mail every two years, this is because colorectal cancer is more common among older people and a complete cure is pretty much guaranteed when it is caught very early as simple removal of a polyp during colonoscopy is often all it takes, even if the polyp shows up as cancerous or precancerous, you often need no further treatment other than two yearly colonoscopies and FOB tests. A positive FOB test does NOT mean cancer, it often means conditions like piles, fissures, and in older people diverticular disease, which causes small outpouching of your colon. A positive FOB will usually mean a referral to see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy which will diagnose and sometimes treat problems like diverticulae and piles.  Sometimes stool gets trapped in the diverticulae causing diverticulitis, which makes them inflamed and they can bleed profusely. This condition is often treated with diet changes, medications, and in some cases surgery to remove a small portion of the effected bowel to improve quality of life, this is only done in severe cases where the condition is effecting quality of life and mainly in older people.

I know it's scary, but all of these problems caught early are treatable, even cancer caught early a complete cure is very possible with just a simple colonoscopy and removal of the cancer cells. Sometimes you may be offered radiation, but very often just removal of the polyp is all that's needed.

Don't sit on it and suffer is my saying, get along to your doctor, who has seen more anuses than you have had hot meals. It's NOTHING to them at all and they will most likely see at least 10 patients a WEEK reporting rectal bleeding, and out of every 1000 patients they see, only one or two will have any signs of cancer. Scary symptom yes, but the longer you leave seeing your doctor the worse your problems will become. All I needed was a rectal exam and a laxative to keep my stools nice and soft to stop them tearing my anus and rectum like they had been.

Also do not ignore constipation, because it can lead to fissures and piles, see a doctor and get a suitable laxative. Often laxatives prescribed by doctors work much better than those you can buy from a pharmacy, because rather than making stool liquid, they simply keep it moist, preventing tearing of the anus and rectum and piles, fissures and faecal impaction. Feacal impaction is where stool hardens in the rectum and lower colon, and sometimes needs removing by a medical professional.

My biggest advice is DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR SYMPTOMS. Dr Google is the worst doctor ever, and will diagnose you with some really horrible diseases when all you really have is a simple, treatable condition such as piles or a fissure.

Anal abscess is another painful condition to watch out for, symptoms are pain, throbbing, bleeding, pus in stool, on TP, in the bowl or oozing onto pants and holes (fistulas) around your back passage which are channels the pus makes in order to get out of the area. Get along to your doctor for some antibiotics and in some cases a small operation which will permanently fix the problem. This condition can be hard to treat, so the sooner you see the doctor, the easier it will be to treat.

I would love a mod to sticky this, as it is such a prominent and scary topic for lots of people like myself with anxiety. By the time I had done googling I had anal cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of everything, and that simple trip to my GP has done away with all of that. Dropping my trousers at the GP? easy as pie, embarrassment, none at all, GPs have seen it all before. We all poo, we all have an anus, there is nothing to be ashamed of, just explain it to your GP however you like, butthole, asshole, bum, backside, jacksie, they will know it ALL trust me lol.

For a simple rectal exam your GP will ask you to lie on the bed on your left hand side and draw your knees up to your chest, they will then put on gloves, put a lubricant on their finger and gently insert their finger into your back passage and do a 360 sweep of your rectum to check for ulcers, polyps, piles, fissures, skin tags etc and to check for obvious bleeding from something like a bleeding pile. They will ask you if you feel any pain during the exam, which can help locate something like an internal pile or abscess. The exam is over in 60 seconds or less. If they suspect infection from an abscess or bug in your rectum they may take a swab and send it off to a lab to identify the bug and treat it with antibiotic suppositories or tablets.

My most important message, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.  :yes:

 

 
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Offline SighNoMore

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 10:23:07 AM »
Trying to take these words to heart. I'm in this panic currently.
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Offline marc

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 11:21:06 AM »
My GI physician told me that any persistent rectal bleeding needs to be investigated.
I have only known of 3 people who passed way from colorectal cancer at a young age;
29, 35, and 37. All had long term rectal bleeding and ignored the symptoms for many
months and one did for a year.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline Happenstance

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 04:39:18 PM »
Which is why it is important to see a doctor with ANY rectal bleeding. I posted this to try and help people over the embarrassment I know many feel about seeing a doctor with this problem. In larger countries, then yes you will see a larger portion of younger people with this cancer, but it is still rare in young people and is ruled out alongside everything else by the doctor.

Yes it COULD be cancer, so this is why it is important to see your doctor, colorectal cancer when caught early has an almost 99% cure rate, making it one of the much easier cancer to cure completely when it is caught at an early stage. Most people with a small 'in situ' tumor or polyp will have it removed during a colonoscopy and that will be it.

So please, see a doctor at the first sign of ANY bleeding you don't like, rectal, vaginal, nasal, blood coming from somewhere it shouldn't or in the case of vaginal, between periods or after menopause should always warrant a trip to the doctor. 
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Offline IAMHEALTHY

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Re: Rectal Bleeding is NOT 'always cancer'!!!
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 06:13:44 PM »
Thanks op, I had an anal fissure with a huge skintag. The doc prescribed mesome cream that costed 100bucks. I didn't buy the script and instead used fiber, but the fissure didn't heal till I put colloidal silver on it. The fissure healed and the giant skintag disappeared
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