Blood in stool in a young patient : role of colonoscopy.

I regularly see a lot of young patients (below 45 years of age) presenting with bright red blood on toilet paper/bowel.  I tell them candidly that almost all the cases are due to a non-cancer cause like hemorrhoids, colitis, or anal tear, and possibility of cancer is quite low. However, the only way to confirm is to perform an endoscopic examination of the colon via colonoscopy. Some of them opt for it, others don’t.

As a gastroenterologist, we encounter a different emotion than other physicians when we find colorectal cancer (CRC) during colonoscopy. We feel happy for the patient that the cancer has been detected at an earlier stage, because It would lead to complete cure with resection and chemotherapy.

However, that day I felt quite saddened to see a large invasive rectal cancer in a 37 year professional. Evidently, the patient had been noticing small among of blood on toilet paper and bowel, which he had ignored. He was unfortunate, instead of being internal hemorrhoids – the leading cause of blood in stool in young patient it turned out to be rectal cancer.  Like him, I felt devastated.

Recent literature reports from a physician (Dr. Bailey) who works at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, shows that the incidence of CRC rose among patients 35-49 years at 0.41 and 1.90 among 20-34 year old.  Based on prediction models for 2030, the cancer could rise 90% among 24-34 years, and 30% for 35-49 years. These numbers are scary, and it makes much more sense to opt for colonoscopy, and than not to.

The purpose of this blog is to help patients make a better and informed decision.

We have always knows that colonoscopy saves lives.

If you wish to see me, please schedule a visit at one of the locations : 281-557-2527

  • Clear Lake Office (Wesbter)
    1015 Medical Center Blvd
    Suite 1300, Webster, TX 77598
    Phone: (281) 557-2527
  • Satellite Office 2
    7111 Medical Center Drive
    2nd Floor
    Texas City, TX 77591

 If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call my office 281-557-2527, and I would be more than happy to call you back and talk to you for free. I believe this is the least I can do to better the lives of people who are trying to find the right answers. 

 

 

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