Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Long term rectal bleeding
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Long term rectal bleeding

I just turned 65 yrs. old. I have had [bleeding] hemorrhoids for years; but within the past year or so it's gotten much worse [more blood, and more pain for some time, after bowel movements]. I had the camera "thing" done [is that the sigmoidoscopy?] this past September [2000]. The Dr. assured me I "had a 'beautiful' colon" -- he said the pictures were negative for any large [or small] problems.

My regular Dr. put me on a regimen of Metamucil every day, along with bowel softeners [1 X a day] -- says he wants to 'clear' the hemorrhoid problem up, if we can. If not, he suggested possible surgery in the future -- but I am afraid of that possibility; & may just go on 'living with the problem' [as I have been for years].

Now, here's the thing that is really bothering me! ... Sometime in the last couple of months, I discovered blood when wiping [after urinating]. This really scared me -- as I had a hysterectomy in 1970 [due to cancer-in-situ of the cervix, at that time]. Of course, I hadn't bled [vaginally] since then! I sort of remembered that my sharp fingernail had scratched across the area near the vaginal opening, when I had dried after a shower, I figured that must be what had happened -- so, I watched for another day or two -- then no more blood. Needless to say, I was so relieved & didn't worry any more about it!

Well, just yesterday -- the same thing occurred! I noticed bright red blood again, when I wiped [after urinating]! And I still am 'showing' a little blood there today. My husband has been deceased since 1981 and I haven't had intercourse in all these years, so that is not a factor. I guess my big question is: Could I have colon/rectal cancer & the test in Sept. failed to detect it? And could colon cancer have spread to the vagina and caused this bleeding? Somehow my "sixth sense" tells me this might be possible -- [is it a possibility?]

I am in an HMO that has to refer one out to any specialist, and that is always a lot of paperwork and waiting -- my primary Dr. is an Internist (but I'd rather not be examined by him for this) I would prefer going to a specialist!

What do you suggest for me? What could this bleeding be caused from, if not cancer? I hope you can supply me with some answers. I do intend to go to my Dr. and hope to be referred to a specialist [but in the meantime -- what do you think about this] -- and is this a common occurrence? I've read through the other entries & saw nothing like this.

One more question -- when I have the rectal bleeding, sometimes it is a dark, sort of 'maroon' color [somewhat 'thick' looking] and with mucous [at times]. Other times -- bright red, & thin, like fresh blood. Do these different colors [and consistencies] have any significance? I never have any abdominal pain, or much 'gas' -- the only pain I can speak of is after a bowel movement, and I think that is usually from the hemorrhoid being slightly 'torn open' during the process of elimination, even though the bowel softeners do help. (I don't always take the Metamucil -- I do forget at times) -- but I usually take the softener every day.

I hope there are some answers for me; I really am wondering about this vaginal bleeding -- 30 years after my hysterectomy!

Thank you, in advance for any advice and/or answers you might have for me. Keep up the good work here! You're providing a very useful service! -- (Helen D.)
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11 Comments
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Helen,
The last time a post was answered in this forum was 12/2.  By the time a physician reads and comments on your post, you could have lost valuable time in seeing a specialist.  I encourage you to see/get a referral to a gynecologist as soon as possible.  Your vaginal bleeding may just be due to your vaginal tissue being friable (fragile); but with your history, I would not want to wait in the hopes that that is the case.  When was your last PAP or gyn exam?  Usually, with a cervical cancer history, in spite of a hysterectomy, the MD will recommend periodic screening via PAP and pelvic exam.  If you had a colonoscopy in Sept, that should have picked up any lesion/polyp that was suggestive of cancer.  A sigmoidoscopy only visualizes the lower part of the intestinal tract and can miss lesions that are higher up.  Regardless, you need to call your PCP's office and push to get this referral scheduled as soon as possible.  In addition to an exam, there are diagnostic tests that will help guide the doctors in doing what is right for you.  I wish you the best and hope you have some good news soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hannie, you should see a doctor right away just to be on the safe side.  Are you sure the blood isn't coming from your bladder?  I hope everything will be alright.  Let us know when you find out.
Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, There is a blood test called the AMAS (antimalignan antibody in serum test) which detects the smallest of cancers anywhere in the body and has been recently approved by the FDA. Few doctors seem to know about it yet. Please consider going to Dr. Day's website at www.drday.com if you have cancer. Buy the 2 videotapes and follow it to the letter. I am improving from a disease that supposedly has no cure using this program.
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Avatar_n_tn
WOW.  I just happened upon this and for statistical purposes, I thought I would add my input.  I am 27 yrs. old, and since I had my 2nd son, now 2 1/2, I have also had hemmoroids (hemorrhoids) w/ the rectal bleeding.  When it first became a problem, my mother told me what it was and suggested suppositories, which were a miracle cure for me.  Except, that sometimes I've had to use up to 3 in a day & now in addition I also have to use some form of laxative (like metamucil).  Using the combo. of the two, it doesn't seem to be a problem except I tend to focus a lot on worrying or wondering when it will act up again: morn.?, night? driving? public place? Anyway, I did go to the doc. finally because my mom said I shouldn't be having to use the suppositories that often.  The doc. (female) took a peek & said "... yes, you do have them."  She sugg. the metamucil & said there was nothing else that could be done.  Like I said, they pretty much stay temporarily taken care of, but then again this is something I don't want to have to deal with the rest of my life because it is kind of a pain in the.. well.  As for the other bleeding I haven't experienced it.. yet.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a college student [21] and I'm experiencing something sort of similar.  I have blood during my bowel movements and I don't know why.  I am not sexually active (for at least 8 months) and it just started about a week ago, a little at first but now w/ every "drop" there is more blood.  I figured this was a medical issue but I am pretty naive about this stuff.  What should I do? What is it called? Why? Why? Why? I'll keep checking back.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can only comment on you hemmhoriods.  Although the surgery is very painful for about 3 days and uncomfortable for 3-4 more, if you have this done you will think you were crazy not to have had it done years ago.  I waited 10 years and in two weeks I was a new person.
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Avatar_n_tn
i have been experiencing the same thing, i bleed when i go to the bathroom sometimes even if i don't pass anything.... i had a colonoscopy (however you spell it) about 2 months ago and now the bleeding is back, i have no idea what is wrong, i don't have hemmoroids (hemorrhoids) or anything, i also take fiber supplements but they don't seem to help.... what wrong w/ me???
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Avatar_n_tn
Very sorry to hear of your problem and hope that you have now seen your doctor and all is well. With regard to piles or haemorrhoids here is a harmless treatment that was recommended to me by a consultant friend who used it in his practice with very high success rates. Instead of using creams and suppositories, which keep the anus damp which in turn encourages itching, try washing the area very well with a none scented soap, dry thoroughly and then apply medicated none scented talcum powder. The talc keeps the area bone dry and encourages the body to heal itself. If this treatment is continued for a week or two you will be happy to find complete relief. The itching itself will stop within a couple of days.
Hope it works for you the way it did for me.
Good luck
Don W

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Avatar_n_tn
My question concern an inflammation/burning sensation i have been having for the last two days in my vagina.
I feel a constant urge to go to the bathrooom and i have a inflammation when i pass urine.
My vagina is extrememly sensitive at this point.

It's pretty uncomfortable and i don't what caused it or what to do? Pliz help soonest!

Mash
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Hi! My experience with rectal bleeding was not a big issue when it first began,which was in 1999. I assumed at first that the bleeding was because I had internal and external hemorrhoids. I went to see my primary doctor about this problem that I had. I explain to her that when I had a bowel movement I would see blood laced in the stool. At the time I was 32yrs. old , my doctor gave me a referral to have a stool culture at the lab at my HMO. The results were back about a week or so, and showed no signs of any foreign bacteria or possible abnormalities of any sort. She also referred me to have a sigmoscopy, the first scedule appt.,the staff did not inform me that I needed to prep for this type of procedure. I to was naive,scared and oblivious to what to ask and research about if need be. I did not prep so I could not do the procedure, so I had to reschedule. One month had gone by and my condition had gotten worse. Now, the bleeding had turn from bright red to dark and the blood was no longer just laced in the stool, it was in and outside of the stool. I began to get so scared that I was scared to have the procedure the next appt. that was sceduled. I slip into a state of denial about what I was experiencing physically and was hoping that it was just hemorrhoids and I could watch what I ate and in time everything would be okay. Unfortunately it wasn't and it didn't. After a year went by I would experience pain in my buttocks , rectum so uncomfortable I remember at night, using a heating pad underneath my buttocks and constantly popping pain medicine to get relief from the pain that I had. I would use the bathroom and sometimes just experience bleeding lots of it at some point. I also remember after intercourse using the bathroom and a large amount of blood would come from my rectum and this was after vaginal intercourse. I never experience anal intercourse never, because then I would have reasoned that to be a factor,why I might be experiencing the rectal bleeding. My physical changes had all begun initailly in March 1998/1999 and progress after time past. I remember going to one brooklyn emergency room and telling the doctors about my symtoms (symptoms),two doctors did a manual rectal exam and said they felt a tissue and said that it was hemorrhoids and took my vital signs, they told me that my blood was a little low and recommended me to take iron supplements and prescribed some stool softner. They directed me to come back if my siduation got worse, but it was already worse at lease that's what I thought. The sad part about it was,that this was a HMO that I had faith in and trusted, because I had been enrolled with them quiet some years. I feel that I failed myself, but I also feel that they failed me as well. Well, in December 28, 1999 phsically I was in pain, exhausted and and weak I could baily make it through my daily agender which was college,work and children. On that date I went to another emergency room in Brooklyn and explain my health problems and they did vitals,exams and a series of outpatient test. Finally,someone was listening and concerned about my symtoms (symptoms). The doctors who were incare of me, made a decision to admit me in the hospital for further observasion and testing. Three days later, I was scedule for a colonoscopy which is a full scope of the colon,at this time they did find a tumor in between the lower colon and rectum. It was very large in size, they took some tissue to be sent to the lab to have a biospy, days later the results returned back positive,I did in fact have cancer the tumor was malignant. Now the question was a plan to treat the cancer, but before that could happen, I had to receive to pints of blood to replace the blood that I had lost over the two years that I was losing blood. After restoring plasma, my long fighting road was ahead with the Loving,Merciful Lord at my side and loving friends,family,professional,supporting and compassionate health team. I was officially diagnosised with colorectal cancer at the age of 33 yrs.old in Janurary 7,2000,from that point on I received 28 regimens of pre-surgical radiation therapy and 14 regimem of chemotherapy 5FU, to shrink the tumor to a sificient size to make it less complicated to remove during surgery. I then had my surgery which was a lower anterior resection ileostomy at one of the best major cancer hospitals here where I live in New York City in Manhattan. I wore a ileostomy colostomy appliance for 5 1/2 months and received post- chemotherapy because I did so well before with the treatment, this time it would be to help for recurrence prevention therapy. This is not a guarantee but worth the try, because I put my faith in God and I believed in my health care and treatment Plan. At last came time for reversal surgery to re-attach the colon and remove the ileostomy appliance in November 2000,which was a success. I just had another colonoscopy in March and there isn't any signs of cancer anywhere in the colon. I am also schedule annually for a series of MRI, CAT scan, colonoscopy,mammograms,x-rays,blood-work and routine doctor visits with my GYN doctor, Gastrointestinal Surgeon,Oncologist. I am now in remission of my cancer and proud to say that I am a Survivor! I wish the very best to everyone who may be experiencing similar side affects and is concerned about their present and future physical state. My advice to you is don't be naive, ask questions, being scared is normal,but to the point to prevent yourself medical attention is not normal and no matter how afraid you may be never deny yourself that right to know what's happening to your body. Always get a second or third opinion, what you don't know can hurt you and the best prevention is intervention and knowledge. Always feel comfortable with your healthcare provider and treatment plan that's acceptable to your condition. Make sure you know what's going on at all times and get involved with decision and options you may have concerning your health. May I offer spiritual advice,trust in the Lord with all your heart,read your Bible, pray and seek spiritual insight from those who can offer it to you and your family. For those individuals that have been diagnosised with cancer of all manifestations here is a book that a loved one gave to me for needed information and additional insight. I now share with you for the same reasons,do research about your condition by reading material and surfing the internet. Once again the best wishes and God Bless You !


                                        Sincerely,
                                        
                                 "Colorectal Cancer Survivor"


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Avatar_n_tn
Dear "survivor"....God Bless You also.

Thank You for sharing your story.  I am petrified of HMO's and thank God, we do not have one.  

The thing about various cancers is  some doctors think that at age 33 one does not get Colon/Rectal Cancer. WRONG!!!

I had a friend who like you went from doctor to doctor and finally someone listened to her.  She was 29. She had colon Cancer.  She also is a survivor.

I also have another friend who was very short of breath and had low tummy pains.  No bleeding.  She was on vacation in Europe and thought she had climbed too many hills and rocks.

She could barely make it back to the US. She saw her PCP and he did a CBC and found her HCT to be very low.  This doc figured she may be bleeding internally somewhere.  He sent her to a Gastro Doc who did an EGD and a Colonoscopy.  She had Colon cancer.  

She just finished her last chemo and is doing well.  

Yes, patients need to be persistant.  They know their bodies better than anyone else.  They know when something is not right.  Time is so important.  

I am able to see any doctor and hospital but many need
to have an OK.  Have a PCP talk for you.  If he gets nowhere, talk to a Supervisor of your health Plan.  Keep going up the ladder until someone will listen to you and your doctor.  Your Life is the Most precious Commodity you have.  Take Good Care of it.

May this Holiday Season bring many Blessings to Everyone.
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I have been having a dull pain in my left side near lower ribs. This began 2 years ago, at which time I had X-rays which found nothing. The pain was not agonizing, just uncomfortable. Then one day my fiance and I were tickling and he grabbed that spot and I saw stars. My GP sent me for an abdominal sonogram, which was normal. A blood test showed high liver enzymes (ALT 57, whatever that means). It is also uncomfortable to lie on my left side for long periods of time. Regarding bowel movements, I started having some that are shaped like marbles. I reported this to my doctor today and she has referred me to a GI. So let's see what happens. Hopefully good news. I want to thank everyone who has shared their experiences. It has certainly taken away any guilt I had about being a pest with my doctor.
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