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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are these symptoms of colorectal cancer?

    My partner is only 34 years old and his father had precancerous polyps removed at the age of around 50. He has been passing black tarry stools which has been tested positive to blood but then the bleeding stopped completely. He is booked in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy in a few weeks time. He was tested for H Pylori bacteria which causes stomach ulcers which has come back as negative. He has no pain, no heartburn, no gas etc. Yesterday he started passing bright red blood in his stools and i am wanting to know if i should push for an earlier colonoscopy? Could this be bowel cancer? is he too young for bowel cancer? would it be strange to have black blood and red blood for bowel cancer?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Thank you very much for your enquiry.

    Symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

    A recent, persistent change in bowel habit to looser, more diarrhoea-like motions, going to the toilet more often, or trying to go (ie. irregularity in someone whose bowels have previously been regular)

    Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool

    Diarrhoea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely

    Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps

    Stools that are narrower than usual

    A lump or mass in your tummy

    Weight loss for no known reason

    Persistent, severe abdominal pain, which has come on recently for the first time (especially in an older age group)

    Feeling very tired


    If you have any of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have bowel cancer, but it is very important you discuss them with your doctor.

    Due to the detailed nature of your questions they are quite difficult to answer in an online forum.

    If you'd like to send your questions through to Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse Adviser we'd be very happy to get in contact with you to provide an individualised response and advice.

    You can send your questions to us using the web form available at

    In the meantime you may also be interested to read some of the information available on the Bowel Cancer Australia website including:

    •Bowel Cancer: Tests and Investigations -

    • Bowel Cancer: Symptoms

    We look forward to receiving your questions and to offering you some tailored advice.

    Kind Regards,
    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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