What could rectal bleeding be a sign of?

This question was asked in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania on 05/14/2012.
What does it mean if I am bleeding when going to the bathroom? Do I need a colonoscopy?

Doctors Answers (3)

Dale Prokupek, M.D.
Answered on: 5/16/2012

Thank you for this question. Bleeding when you have a bowel movement always needs to be evaluated by a physician. The cause of the bleeding could be as simple as hemorrhoids or as dangerous as colon cancer. If the blood is bright red and you are a young patient, it is likely the source is hemorrhoids or some other easily treated condition. However, the colon needs to be viewed by a physician to be sure. This may entail a colonoscopy- or you could simply need an endoscopy or sigmoidoscopy- both of which can be done quickly and easily in the office. Thanks for the question and please get to the doctor!

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 5/15/2012

Rectal bleeding can be caused by several different conditions with varying severity. Please ask your Primary Care Doctor about the need to be referred to Indianapolis Gastroenterology.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 5/14/2012

The only way to adequately investigates sources of bleeding is to do some kind of endoscopy. The choice of anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is based on your age and symptoms.