Stomach cancer: Dark, tar-like stools could be a sign of the disease
Stomach cancer is one of the trickiest types of cancer as the symptoms are not very visible until after the disease has spread. As spotting symptoms is very important as early as possible, one concerning sign can be found in what is flushed down the toilet.
Express reports that the color of a person’s stool can indicate their health, and in the case of stomach cancer, a very dark, tar-like stool can be a possible sign of the disease. Cancer Research UK explains that a stool of this color could already mean that the stomach is bleeding. Shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, feeling full even after eating a small amount, nausea, pain especially in the middle of the stomach, and indigestion are also other symptoms of the condition.
Stomach or gastric cancer has no exact cause, as there are many factors that can contribute to whether a person can or has developed the disease. Age is one factor as stomach cancer tends to affect those over 55 years of age and other lifestyle choices such as fiber intake and intake of processed food, salted or pickled food, and red meat as well as smoking. Stomach cancer also usually affects men as well.
However, it is important to note, that the color of the stool may not necessarily indicate health problems. The same goes for the other symptoms mentioned, as it can most likely be a symptom of a less serious or at the very least, treatable condition. This is why it is still advised to ask a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Meanwhile, the stool color may not just indicate possible health issues, but more on the food being eaten. The medication being taken is also what can affect the color of the stool. Some types of food are known to affect the color of the stool and even the urine.
Medication-wise, iron tablets may also lead to stools having a dark, tar-like appearance, so if you are taking iron tablets, then you can expect to see your stool being dark or tar-like in color and appearance.
As for food, beets are known for their reddish color, and can also cause stools to have a reddish color similar to blood, which can be worrying but it really is not. Leafy green vegetables can also cause a person’s stool to turn greenish, while blueberries can give the stool and even urine a blueish hue.