Rectal or anal bleeding, often noticed as blood in the stool or on toilet paper, can be alarming and is associated with various common causes and related conditions
Common Causes of Rectal/Anal Bleeding
Hemorrhoids: Swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus, often caused by straining during bowel movements, can result in painless rectal bleeding.
Anal Fissures: Small tears or cracks in the anal lining, often due to passing hard stools, can lead to bright red blood during bowel movements.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Conditions such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, or inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g., Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) can cause bleeding throughout the digestive tract, resulting in dark or black stools (melena).
Diverticular Disease: Diverticula are small pouches in the colon that can bleed or become infected (diverticulitis), causing rectal bleeding.
Colorectal Polyps: Precancerous growths in the colon or rectum can sometimes bleed, especially if they become large or malignant.
Colorectal Cancer: Rectal bleeding may be an early sign of colorectal cancer, particularly in older individuals or those with a family history of the disease.
Anal Cancer: Although rare, anal cancer can cause rectal bleeding, often accompanied by pain or changes in bowel habits.
Infections: Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or anal warts caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) can result in rectal bleeding.
Blood Disorders: Conditions like thrombocytopenia or hemophilia can lead to bleeding disorders that manifest as rectal bleeding.
Proper evaluation of rectal bleeding is crucial to determine the underlying cause. Clemenceau Medical Center Hospital offers comprehensive diagnostic assessments, including endoscopy, colonoscopy, and imaging studies, to identify the source of bleeding and develop appropriate treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs. Early diagnosis and intervention can be critical, especially in cases of potentially serious conditions like colorectal cancer.