Though most often caused by hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding actually has a number of possible causes, some of which are quite serious. For example, rectal bleeding can be a symptom of colorectal cancer.
Common symptoms of rectal bleeding include:
- Bright-red blood coating the stool
- Dark blood mixed with the stool
- Black or tarry stool.
Not all rectal bleeding is visible; it can sometimes occur without a person noticing it. This type of bleeding is called occult, or hidden, bleeding. Fortunately, simple tests can detect it in the stool.
The treatment options will vary, depending on where the bleeding is located, its cause, and its severity. Specific options may include:
(Click Rectal Bleeding to learn more about why rectal bleeds occur, the different types, and other symptoms.)