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Ask Dr. Rick, MD Your Own Question
Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11033
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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Is rectal leakage a sign of cancer?

This answer was rated:

Is rectal leakage a sign of cancer?

RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Are you able to hold your feces in at all?

Customer:

Oh yes. Sometimes I just see a tiny bit of yellow stuff on the toilet paper when I wipe.

RickMD :

Do you find feces in your underwear all the time?

Customer:

No, not at all.

RickMD :

Ok. That is good.

RickMD :

To answer your question, from what you have posted, I do not believe this tiny amount of yellow stuff on your toilet paper is a sign of cancer. I would not worry about this at all.

RickMD :

Of course, if you are really worried that you may have colon cancer or any other form of GI cancer, then a complete workup by a gastroenterologist, possibly including endoscopy, abdominal imaging etc, would be find any evidence of disease in these areas

RickMD :

So. What is the take home message? I do not think you have to worry that you have cancer based on what you have told me this evening.

RickMD :

Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?

Customer:

I went to a GI doc years ago and he did not think a colonoscopy was necessary.

RickMD :

From what you have told me tonight I do not think it is necessary either at this point but, if you are really worried, it is a very helpful test in cases of GI problems.

RickMD :

Basically, what you are seeing on your toilet tissue is not anything to be concerned about.

Customer:

I saw my PCP the other day and she said that I had an anal fissure and did not want to order a colonoscopy.

RickMD :

Colonoscopy may not be needed in evaluating an anal fissure.

RickMD :

Usually all that is needed is a direct rectal exam

Customer:

Now I am worried that I need a colonoscopy. How do I get someone to order one for me?

RickMD :

The best person would be a GI doctor. You could discuss with her your concerns, your history of an anal fissure and your desire to make sure everything is OK.

RickMD :

A colonoscopy is normally performed by an GI doctor.

Customer:

But wouldn't I need a referral from my PCP?

RickMD :

That depends on what your health care insurance demands, since they have to pay for it. For example, in my health plan, I can just make an appointment with any sub specialist without going through a PCP. In California, for patients who have Kieser Health, for example, I believe they have to go through their PCP for almost everything....

RickMD :

You would have to talk to your insurance company to see what you need to do if you require a specialists, like a GI doctor, care.

RickMD :

I know that you didn't ask for this, but here is a very good article from the NIH on anal fissures:

RickMD :

Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?

Customer:

Yes, I think so. So you think I need to see a GI doc?

RickMD :

From what you posted on this page, I don't think that the tiny bit of yellow stuff on the toilet paper when you wipe is a sign of anything terrible wrong so, from that point of view, I do not think you need to see a GI doctor.

RickMD :

That being said, I can tell you are very concerned so, in that way, consulting with a GI doctor wouldn't be such a bad idea....

RickMD :

Does that make sense to you?

RickMD :

I guess you have stepped away from your computer.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

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