Fair amount of blood in Stool

Patient

Q: I went to the bathroom and after going I noticed the water was red on one side. Toilet paper came away bright red with a fair amount of blood and a layer of blood was surrounding the exit for several inches out. It is not continuous but it seemed like a lot, more than just a few drops. There is no pain but it worried me, should I see a doctor?

Symptoms:  Bright red blood in water and on toilet paper, mostly not mixed in with the stool
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Bright red blood in your stool, without any associated pain cold be due to a common phenomenon called internal hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are swollen veins of the anal canal that lie far enough insides that they usually are not painful, so bleeding may be the only sign that they are present. A second cause of your bleeding could be that you experienced a minor tear in the anal canal as you were passing stool. Lastly, blood in your stool could be indicative of something more serious, like colon cancer. It is for this reason, that we recommend that you see your doctor. Have a rectal exam performed, and be assessed for the cause of your bleeding. You may need to undergo a procedure called a colonoscopy, wherein a camera is inserted in the anus, into your colon, to search for the presence of any tumors or the source of bleeding. Please see your doctor for further assessment.

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