Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Thin or flat stools
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Thin or flat stools

I am a male, age 30, and I had a colonoscopy 14 months ago and it revealed one benign "villous" polyp. It was removed and the gastroenterologist said nothing else was found.
6 months ago, my doctor found an anal lesion. He was not very concerned about it and perscribed something that would heal it. So I used up the perscription and that was the last I've thought of it.  

Since my colonoscopy I have had some irritable sensations in my stomach or colon and I have 2-3 bowel movements per day. I drink coffee in the morning then usually have a bowel movement and then breakfast. I get the irritable/upset feeling after breakfast.

Lately I have noticed some pretty thin stools when I have a bowel movement. Maybe once a week as far as I have observed. They are probably about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thin, and even rectangular in shape. Perhaps considered "flat." They are not very slick stools in texture, but look more normal in texture.

I am very worried that this could mean colon/rectal cancer so I am scheduled to go for another colonoscopy in 3 weeks. Do these rectangular, long, thin stools defintely mean cancer? Any other possibilitites of something that could have developed over the past 14 months?  

Thank you very much.

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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

It is unlikely that cancer could have developed in 14 months.  You are also quite young to have colon cancer.  However, this doesn't make it can't happen.  You are wisely taking the safe route by repeating the colonoscopy in 3 weeks.  

There are other causes that can change the shape of the stool.  Irritable bowel syndrome can cause long, thin ribbon-like stools for instance.  

If you are having stomach discomfort, you may want to inquire about an upper endoscopy or upper GI series to evaluate the cause of your symptoms.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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