“Usually a black speck in your stool is related to what you are eating – for example, coffee or pepper,” says Sander R. Binderow, MD, FACS, FASCRS.

Will bleeding or blood cause black specks in stools?

“A drop of blood in the stool will not present a black speck – more so [it will] just cause an overall black stool or red depending on where in the intestines or colon the blood is absorbed,” explains Dr. Binderow, who’s with Atlanta Colon & Rectal Surgery.

If you’re worried about black specks in your BMs, you should realize that what you’re seeing may not even be black specks in the first place. How close are you inspecting your BMs?

What you’re seeing may be tiny pieces of a dark green food that got passed through, such as spinach.

Undigested particles of food, when mixed with your poops, can appear as very dark or black specks.

Dr. Binderow adds, “Specks or spots in the stool do not need to be a cause for concern.”

Colon Cancer

And they certainly do not indicate the possibility of colon cancer.

However, Dr. Binderow explains, “Every patient should get a screening colonoscopy at 50 years old (or earlier if they are at higher risk).

Colonoscopy. Source: Cancer Research UK

“If patients are reading too much into symptoms before colonoscopy, they could convince themselves they have any of a myriad of medical conditions.

“Rather than worry about symptoms and black specks or coloring of the stool, they should get a colonoscopy or non-invasive colorectal cancer screening test, like Cologuard, to diagnose and eliminate causes of discoloration in the stool.”

This non-invasive test uses the latest advancements in DNA technology as it applies to bowel movement samples.

Altered DNA from abnormal cells in the sample can be detected, and this DNA may be associated with colon cancer.

Dr. Binderow performs minimally invasive, robotic and laparoscopic surgery for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and other colorectal conditions. Adept at routine procedures, he also sees patients with complex, atypical maladies.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 
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