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Colorectal Diseases

Occasional bleeding



I have been experiencing some constipation lately, and I noticed that occasionally, when I do have a bowel movement, I occasionally will have some blood on the tissue paper after I wipe. As far as I can see, there is none in the toilet. The blood is not always bright red, but it`s really a dark red, either. More like blood from an old cut?

Do I need to see a doctor about this or should I wait to see if it gets better when the constipation ends?

I am a woman in my thirties, no history of colon cancer in the family.

If it were cancer, would the bleeding be more profuse and more frequent/constant?


Blood on the TP after difficult BM is most likely due to an anal fissure, or possibly even hemorrhoidal swelling and irritation. It would be reasonable to visit your doctor for an exam, and a period of treatment with stool softeners, fiber therapy, and possibly medicated suppositories. If after awhile if you still have symptoms, then perhaps a visit to a proctologist will be recommended. Bleeding is one symptom of colorectal cancer, but many patients with this disease have no symptoms at all.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati