Are frequent bowel movements with mucus signs of bowel cancer?

Q. My WBC is elevated, and I pass mucus in my stools. Is bowel cancer the cause?

Answered by
Dr. Rajesh Kumar Bansari
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 06, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 23, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 32-year-old woman. I have severe anxiety, but I am not on medication due to breastfeeding my toddler. I am overweight, and my recent blood work showed high WBC (white blood count) (it is always on the high side for me) due to an eye infection. After antibiotics, it went down. My recent worry is that when I go to the toilet, my stools sometimes contain mucus. This mucus comes when it is a small, hard stool I am passing. If I have more significant bowel movements, there is not much excess mucus, but some on inspection. Could this be normal? I am terrified of bowel cancer. I have not had much of an appetite lately, but I can easily imagine this anxiety. If appropriate, I would like to send a photo of both a regular bowel movement and an excess of mucus.

Thank you.



Welcome to

I have reviewed your concern extensively. In my opinion, you are suffering from IBS-C (Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation). It is a functional disorder of the intestine. It can be managed with medicines and relaxation techniques so that anxiety can be taken care of. Please take the following medications that will help you to get back to normal. Take it for two weeks.

Take syrup Cremaffin (liquid paraffin and Magnesium hydroxide) two tablespoon at night.

Tablet Mebeverine (antispasmodic) thrice daily.

Ispaghol Husk (Psyllium seed husk) two tablespoon in a water glass, keep it for good four to six hours and then take it daily.


Take plenty of water, ten glasses per day.

Chew the food well.

Take small morsels of food.

Avoid oily or fried foods.

Daily exercise (walking is the best exercise).

And now your other concern regarding bowel cancer.

If you do not have a family history of bowel cancer and are not having blood in stools or drop in hemoglobin, it is doubtful. But the best way to rule out is to go for a colonoscopy. I want to advise some blood workup.

If feasible to you, please get it done.

CBC (Complete blood count), LFT (Liver function test), TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone), fasting blood sugar.

Follow-up after two weeks.

I hope you will come back with betterment in all parameters.

Kind regards.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I had a CBC done a month ago, and my LFTs, TSH was good, my blood sugar was a little bit too high at 104 (but it was not wholly fasting, the blood test was not planned). My hemoglobin was good again, the only thing that stood out was my WBC (they are always on the higher side for me, but were raised due to an eye infection), and my inflammatory markers were increased as well (they too have always been on the higher side). The only other thing I noticed health-wise is that when I am active (cleaning intensively, walking in hot weather), my body temperature goes up. I do not feel feverish but noticed accidentally after monitoring myself for COVID-19. I took my temperature rectally (stopped doing that now as I learned oral is good too, but rectal was the way our old family doctor told us how to do it), and it would rise to 38.3 (once 38.6) degrees Celsius after a long intensive walk in the warm weather. It would immediately go down when sitting down, and I would have an average temperature again within 20 minutes. Orally I never reached the fever threshold; only rectally, I would have a fever for a very brief period after activity.

Thank you again for your time.

Kind regards.



Welcome back to

I am feeling perfect after listening back from you. And it is good to know your blood workup is fine besides WBC and inflammatory markers, which are nonspecific and can be raised with any infection, in the case of your eye infection. And regarding your fever, oral temperature is easy and useful to monitor fever as rectal temperature remains one degree high than an oral temperature. So it is normal to have one degree more when you check it rectally. For now, check only orally as rectally can cause discomfort at times. I will be looking forward to seeing you after a period and would love to hear from you that you are healing well. So do not worry. Take good care of yourself.

Humble regards.

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