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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is it normal for an elderly cancer survivor to pass black stool?

My Mother is 85 years old and my Father told me this morning when she went to the bathroom she her stool was black, dark. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor and it being evaluated for dementia. Should I try to get her in tomorrow (Monday) to her primary care or wait to see if it continues to be black. She lives in an Assisted Living Facility, should I have them notify the Head Nurse at the Facility first?
Thu, 11 Jul 2019
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Radiation Oncologist 's  Response

Yes, please notify the head nurse about the black stools. Black stools usually refers to bleeding in the intestinal tract, cause of which needs to be evaluated.

Most importantly she requires a clinical evaluation by a physician and look out for anemia and get a complete blood count done. If Hb is less than 7 then she may require a blood transfusion.

However, to be certain, a physician must examine her and take a call regarding further management.

This issue may not be related to her cancer history, however, she should be evaluated in detail to get to the bottom of this black stools.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Dr Jatin Bhatia, Radiation Oncologist
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