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Colonoscopy, IBS, blood in stool, history of cancer

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Practicing since : 2002
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I have to have a colonoscopy done. This will be my second one. The first one was done at age 43 and I'm 51 now. My father died of colon cancer. The first colonoscopy was fine they found nothing. I;m jsut worried about this one. I did have blood on my toliet paper it was bright red. I do have IBS also. I've been reading things on the internet and I'm scared.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thank you for your query.

The concern you have regarding your colonoscopy is very understandable. Regarding the blood you are seeing on the toilet paper the most likely cause of this is a hemorrhoid. Sometimes we have hemorrhoids which become inflamed. When the hemorrhoids become inflamed this can cause a very minor amount of bleeding. A more concerning issue regarding bleeding would be if you saw a lot of bright red blood in the toilet or if your stool has changed to the consistency of black tar. Those are more worrisome indications of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Having a family history of colon cancer it does increase your general risk of colon cancer. This is why your physicians have recommended surveillance screening which you are scheduled for. I am happy to see that your previous colonoscopy was negative. I am quite sure that the next colonoscopy will not indicate any cause of concern.

If you had other symptoms such as weight loss which is unexplained or pain or profuse rectal bleeding or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting I would be more concerned.

I would urge you to continue to follow up and attend your schedule colonoscopy. Your physicians have obviously put together a good plan of surveillance which they will continue for the rest of your life.

I am very confident that your physicians will not find any suspicious lesions during your upcoming colonoscopy. They will also be able to confirm the source of the small amount of bleeding you have recently encountered. They will be able to confirm that these are likely due to hemorrhoids.

It has been a pleasure providing you with an answer which I hope has been adequate and informative. I am available if you have any follow-ups.

With regards,

Dr. Galamaga.
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