Symptoms of black stool cancer, or bowel cancer, include bloody stools, a change in bowel habits, weight loss and a cancerous lump, reports Cancer Research UK. An abnormally low level of red blood cells, or anemia, may be present as well.
Small, hard stools are indicative of a wide range of medical and dietary conditions, but they are not the cause of cancer, according to Doctor Oz. The shape, size, color and odor of human stool can suggest the presence of several gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer.
Black stool is often caused by bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, specifically in the esophagus, stomach or small intestines, notes Healthgrades. Medication and other ingested substances, including black licorice, blueberries, iron supplements, lead and bismuth medicines such as Pepto-Bis
Colon cancer affects the stool by causing alternating diarrhea and constipation, according to the American Cancer Society. This type of cancer can also cause narrowing of the stool and blood in the stool.
Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulosis and colon polyps are the most common causes of blood in the stool, as confirmed by MedicineNet. Blood in the stool ranges in color from bright red to black.
Large stools are typically caused by constipation, which is a common symptom of conditions such as pregnancy, encopresis and hemorrhoids, according to Healthline, the University of Maryland Medical Center and WebMD. Constipation may also result in large hardened stools that tear parts of the anus, r
In some cases black stool indicates bleeding in the upper intestinal tract or stomach, which requires prompt medical attention, according to Mayo Clinic. Other possible causes of black stool include black liquorice, iron supplements, and medications such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.
Hard stools are often treated with lifestyle changes that relieve constipation and encourage frequent bowel movements, such as adding fiber to the diet, increasing fluid intake to at least eight glasses of water each day and exercising, according to About.com. Over-the counter or prescription stool
The causes of dark stools include certain medications, certain foods and bleeding in the upper portion of the digestive system, including the esophagus, according to Healthline. Less frequently, severe circulation problems in the digestive system may lead to dark stools.
A number of conditions, including liver and gallbladder disorders, pancreatic disorders and autoimmune diseases, can cause yellow stool, according to Healthline. Such conditions include cirrhosis of the liver, chronic pancreatitis and celiac disease.