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Blood in Stool
February 2002

Q. I am a 16-year-old male. Sometimes, after I am finished having a bowel movement, there is a little trace of blood on the paper after I wipe. There is sometimes also a slight pain followed by blood. Is this something to be worried about? Is it cancer? What should I do? What kind of tests will the doctor do to me if I decide to see him?

A. At your age, the likelihood of a serious condition is very small. The bleeding should be investigated however. Small amounts of blood on the tissue are most commonly due to small hemorrhoids (swollen veins) or a fissure, which is like a tiny cut in the skin. If the doctor can examine you within a day of the bleeding, he may well be able to confirm the diagnosis. He can then decide if further tests are needed, such as a sigmoidoscopy which is a direct look at the colon through a small instrument.

http://www.familydoctor.org/flowcharts/532.html

http://www.fascrs.org/brochures/brochures.html

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/bleeding/bleeding.htm

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