Rectal bleeding is the passage of fresh blood from the rectum. The blood will appear red in color and may show up on stool or on toilet paper.
Rectal bleeding can be a symptom of something minor, like hemorrhoids, or something more serious, like colorectal cancer.
Minor rectal bleeding will show up as a few drops of blood on stool or toilet paper. More serious bleeding is signified by profuse amounts of blood or by stool that appears black or maroon in color.
Rectal bleeding has a number of possible causes.
Common causes of rectal bleeding can include:
Rarely, rapid and severe bleeding from stomach ulcers can also cause rectal bleeding.
Diagnosis begins with a brief medical history and physical examination which is followed by clinical tests, such as:
During the tests your physician will identify the location and the cause of rectal bleeding in order to determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment plans for rectal bleeding include: