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Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is the most common symptom of the diseases of the anorectal area. It may consist of spotting or significant amounts, and the shade of red can vary anywhere from bright to dark, or can even be a black color. The color of the bleeding is an indicator of what the problem may be. Rectal bleeding requires prompt attention because it could occur from benign conditions or from inflammation or malignant conditions. We recommend seeking immediate physician consultation for this symptom.

Anorectal Diseases

The most common anorectal diseases are described succinctly on this web site. There are more rare conditions that can be diagnosed at the time of the evaluation.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer, with high prevalence en Western societies, likely due to a diet high in red meat and fats and not enough fiber. The best way to detect it is through surveillance procedures being the most accurate. These procedures include colonoscopy followed by x ray procedures like barium enema and virtual colonoscopy. As with any cancer, early detection is critical in the success of the treatment, therefore a colonoscopy is recommended for everyone over the age of 50, even when no symptoms are present. This cancer generally presents itself later on in life, but is more common in people in their sixties and seventies but it can occur at any age. The symptoms vary in accordance with the location of the tumor, but by the time the tumor is symptomatic, it is generally in the advanced stages of the disease. The most common symptoms is pain felt on the left side of the colon, anemia, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, small caliber stools, and intestinal obstruction. Rectal bleeding is also a very common symptom, but rectal bleeding occurs in many other diseases as well. Therefore, when rectal bleeding does occur, it should be assessed for the possibility of colon cancer. The treatment varies in sequence, depending on the location and extension of the disease and includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Constipation

Constipation is having less frequent bowel movements, or passing hard stool. Constipation can occur as a result of a low fiber diet, lack of physical activity, laxative abuse, and some medications can produce constipation as well. Also, a variety of medical illnesses will induce constipation from benign conditions or malignant conditions. The objective is to find the cause of the constipation and then treat it accordingly.

Pruritus Ani (Itching)

Pruritus ani is a very annoying condition that is very prevalent at some point in life. It can be caused by any of the conditions mentioned before. It can also occasionally be cause by a parasite infestation. Treatment is directed at the cause of the symptom.

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements. It can range from the inability to control gas to total fecal incontinence. The causes vary from medical illnesses, tumors, or damage of the sphincter mechanism. Treatment is directed to the cause of the incontinence and to the degree of the symptom.

Rectal Pain

Rectal pain is another very common symptom of anorectal diseases. It can be due to a variety of diseases, like infections, abscesses, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal fistulas, benign or malignant tumors, fecal impaction and others ailments. Rectal pain also requires an evaluation to determine its origin.