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Getting pain in ribs and tightness in throat. Noticed black stool. What is the disease?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I'm 29, I have recently began getting achy rib pains as well as tightness in my throat. I smoked about a pack a day for 10 yrs, in the last year I'd say I have cut back to about a half pack a day. In May I had my appendix delved after complaint about abdominal pains. I also had thin stools and blood when I wiped chalked up to hemmorhoids. Recently I had 2 straight days of black stools. I am terrifie
d this was colon cancer that has now spread to my lungs. Could this be anything else?
Posted Sat, 27 Oct 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi, thanks for using health care magic

Black stools can be due to ingestion of iron intake from multivitamins,black licorice or peptobismol.
It can also be indicative of bleeding in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract such as the stomach, esophagus, upper intestine.Bleeding can result from infection, trauma, an ulcer, medications such as aspirin which promote bleeding,cancer of the upper part of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Cancer of the colon would normally present in an older age group (this is the reason that screening for the disease is not started till age 50) unless there is a family history of bowel disease predisposing to cancer. It would be very unlikely at your age in the absence of a significant family history.
Other symptoms would be abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, constipation, bleeding on defecation , vomiting. Because this disease is slow spreading in most persons, it may be caught at an early stage before spread to any other organs unless symtoms are ignored.
In terms of the bright red blood seen on wiping, as you correctly stated this is most likely haemorrhoids , but normally the anus and rectum is examined to rule out any other conditions and to identify the hemorrhoids.

Smoking can increase the risk of gastritis which is inflammation of the stomach that may associated with bleeding, this blood would turn the stool black.
It may also cause problems with the throat including sore throat , affect dental hygiene , cancer of the throat.

You may want to consider visiting your doctor with the symptoms that you have, after history and examination,your doctor may consider an xray of your chest and imaging of the stomach and upper intestine to check for any sources of blood.

In summary , only persons with a family history of bowel disease that predispose to colonic cancer, develop colonic cancer at this age.
With the long term history of smoking it would important to check for any of the complications associated with this.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions
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