Why Is It Important To Investigate Symptoms Of Cancer:
Dont neglect constipation, as it can be a symptom of colon cancer. Patients, who get diagnosed at an early stage of colon cancer, have survival rate around 90%. As the disease progresses, survival rate sharply declines. It is difficult to treat colon cancer. The prognosis is poor, once the cancer has spread to other organs. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the symptoms in yourself. The additional symptoms associated with colon cancer are diarrhea/constipation , blood in or around the stool, narrower stool, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia and jaundice. To know more about the early symptoms of colon cancer, . If you suspect any deviation from normal in your body, consult your doctor.
Diagnosing Colon Cancer Is More Difficult
Colorectal cancers are most often diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50, but young onset colorectal cancer incidence is rapidly increasing. Blood in the stool can be alarming, particularly if you have never experienced it earlier. Hemorrhoids are more common than cancer and are the most likely explanation for bleeding or rectal pain.
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Causes And Risk Factors
The underlying cause of hemorrhoids that form in the anus or rectum is still a matter of debate. One theory is that it is due to the breakdown of the supporting tissues in the anal canal.
When hemorrhoids are untreated, last for a long time, or are under more physical pressure, they can become prolapsed and protrude out of the anus or rectum.
There are several risk factors for prolapsed hemorrhoids, including:
- Advanced age
- Overuse of anti-diarrhea medications
Sometimes, placing something in the anus, such as during sexual activity, or for medical treatment, can also cause pressure, resulting in a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
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Rectal Bleeding: The Warning Sign Of Hemorrhoids And Colorectal Cancer
8 minute read
Rectal bleeding is not only the common sign of hemorrhoids, but colorectal cancer. Due to the similarity of clinical manifestations, colorectal cancer is often mistaken for hemorrhoids, leading to delayed diagnosis and ineffective treatments. Therefore being aware of the specific warning signs and symptoms of these diseases results in early detection and appropriate treatments. If suspected signs of hemorrhoids or colorectal cancer exhibit, especially rectal bleeding, immediate medical attention must be sought as soon as possible.
Symptoms Of Anal Fissures
Anal fissures may cause:
- A sharp, stinging pain during bowel movements. This pain may last for a few minutes to a few hours after a bowel movement. You may also feel a cutting or tearing feeling during your bowel movements.
- The pain may cause you to hold in your bowel movements, making you constipated.
- This can lead you to have a harder bowel movement, which can make your anal fissure worse.
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Red Blood Cell Count And Bleeding Polyps
Blood tests look at hemoglobin levels in red blood cells. This protein is responsible for bringing fresh oxygen into the blood and transporting it throughout the body. A dysfunction in red blood cells is called anemia.
Anemic people have symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart palpitations
Anemia is caused by multiple abnormalities, including cancer itself. Bleeding polyps can worsen over time. When this happens, the survival rate of patients with cancer is threatened. Anemia deprives the body of fresh oxygen, which in turn affects the bodys capability to cope with cancer treatments.
How Is Colorectal Cancer Treated
Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on a number of factors, including the general health of the patient and the size, location, and extent of the tumor. Many different treatments and combinations of treatments are used to treat colorectal cancer.
Surgery to remove the cancer is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer. The type of surgery that a doctor performs depends mainly on where the cancer is found.
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The anticancer drugs circulate in the bloodstream and affect cancer cells throughout the body.
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area.
Biological therapy, also called immunotherapy, uses the bodys immune system, either directly or indirectly, to fight cancer. The immune system recognizes cancer cells in the body and works to eliminate them. Biological therapies are designed to repair, stimulate, or enhance the immune systems natural anticancer function.
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Hemorrhoids Constipation Treatment: Diet And Lifestyle
Prolonged or frequent constipation often causes hemorrhoids by increasing the pressure in the anal region. To treat hemorrhoids effectively, the constipation must be treated simultaneously. Here are some measures to cure constipation and hemorrhoids:
Your diet must contain fiber in each meal, since fiber stimulate the bowel to work better and empty itself in due time. Food sources containing fiber are full corn cereals, full corn bread, vegetables and fruit.
Your diet must contain the right amount of fat. Too little fat makes the stool hard, too much can irritate the digestion. Vary between these natural fat sources: Fat fish, almonds, olive oil, rape oil, canola oil and flax oil. The fat type in these oils alleviates inflammations in the digestive system. In addition you should consume some, but not too much of these fat sources: Nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, eggs, spawn, sunflower oil, corn oil and soy oil.
Drink enough water, since water makes the stool softer.
Eat regular meals each day. Do not overfill your stomach at each meal. It can be better to eat four or five smaller meals that three larger.
Go to the toilet every time you feel the urge to pass stool. Relax at the toilet and let it all get the time to pass out. Try to avoid straining to pass the stool out. To ease the passing of stool you can smear the anal opening with vaseline or with special ointments made for this purpose.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor About Rectal Bleeding During An Appointment
If youre experiencing rectal bleeding, calling your healthcare provider and going in for an appointment is often a good idea. Your provider will figure out whats causing the bleeding and develop a plan to stop the bleeding.
Its important to ask any questions you might have during this appointment. Dont be embarrassed to talk about your bowel movements or details about your poop. This information might seem disgusting, but it will help your provider know whats happening and find the best way to help you feel better.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/13/2020.
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What Causes Hemorrhoids
Rather than having one specific cause, hemorrhoids usually result from the interplay of several factors, which may include:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting on a toilet for a prolonged period of time
- A low-fiber diet
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
A common denominator of many of these factors is the potential for interference with blood circulation to the rectum and anus. As blood pools in this area, it can cause blood vessels to become enlarged and inflamed. Also, the connective tissues that provide support to veins can weaken over time, allowing the veins in the rectum and anus to bulge outward. For this reason, the likelihood of developing hemorrhoids increases with age.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take the signs of anal cancer very seriously, and so should you. We encourage you to discuss your symptoms with a member of the multispecialty team in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, and you dont need a referral to do so. Well begin the diagnostic process right away, and if you are ultimately diagnosed with anal cancer, we can create an individualized treatment plan thats appropriate for you.
To request a personal consultation with a gastrointestinal oncologist at Moffitt, call or complete our new patient registration form online.
What Are The Symptoms
Most people will treat the symptoms of hemorrhoids without medical advice and only seek medical attention when symptoms worse. Both internal and external hemorrhoids can cause rectal discharge and itching.
The internal ones typically cause prolapse or painless rectal bleeding that is reported as blood on the toilet paper or bleeding associated with bowel movements. External ones can cause anal discomfort because of engorgement.
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They Can Share Symptoms
One of the most common complaints our patients have is blood in their stool or on the toilet paper after they have a bowel movement. This makes sense, because hemorrhoids are one of the most common conditions we diagnose and bleeding may be the most common symptom of piles.
Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are not the first thing most people think of when they see blood after going to the bathroom. And for good reason. Its also one of the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer, diverticulosis, and a number of other intestinal issues.
In general, the blood will be on the stool for hemorrhoids and inside the stool for colon cancer. This is not a hard and fast rule, though. Every year, dozens of patients are misdiagnosed as having hemorrhoids when they really have both conditions.
This is why you want an experienced doctor who sees hemorrhoids and other colorectal complaints regularly. This is especially true if you have any other symptoms in addition to bleeding that may point to colon cancer, including:
- A change in bowel habits
- Thin, pencil-like stool
- Excess gas, diarrhea, or constipation
- Feeling like you need to go to the bathroom even after you do go
We recommend seeing a colon and rectal specialist about your symptoms to rule out anything more serious than hemorrhoids.
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Can Anal Hemorrhoids Lead You To Rectal Cancer
The good news is, No! Anal hemorrhoids do not lead you to rectal cancer. However, the primary indication for several people suffering from hemorrhoids is blood on toilet paper, blood in stool & in the toilet bowl following a bowel movement. Nevertheless, do not write off these symptoms of Anal hemorrhoids without consulting a gastroenterologist specializing in the study & treatment of the digestive tract including colon, rectum & anus.
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What Causes Colon Cancer And Hemorrhoids Do Hemorroids Lead To Colon Cancer
Colon Cancer Causes
Most colorectal cancers arise from adenomatous polyps. Such polyps are comprised of excess numbers of both normal and abnormal appearing cells in the glands covering the inner wall of the colon. Over time, these abnormal growths enlarge and ultimately degenerate to become adenocarcinomas.
People with certain genetic abnormalities develop what are known as familial adenomatous polyposis syndromes. Such people have a greater-than-normal risk of colorectal cancer. In these conditions, numerous adenomatous polyps develop in the colon, ultimately leading to colon cancer.
- There are specific genetic abnormalities found in the two main forms of familial adenomatous polyposis.
- The cancer usually occurs before age 40 years.
- Adenomatous polyposis syndromes tend to run in families. Such cases are referred to as familial adenomatous polyposis . Celecoxib has been FDA approved for FAP. After six months, celecoxib reduced the mean number of rectal and colon polyps by 28% compared to placebo 5%.
Another group of colon cancer syndromes, termed hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndromes, also runs in families. In these syndromes, colon cancer develops without the precursor polyps.
HNPCC syndromes are sometimes linked to tumors in other parts of the body.
Other high risk factors for developing colon cancers include any one of the following:
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s colitis
- Breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer now or in the past
- A family history of colon cancer
Can They Lead To Colon Cancer
Currently, there is no evidence that they lead to colon cancer. As mentioned, both conditions can have overlapping symptoms. Therefore, the belief that you have them could actually be a symptom of colon cancer. It may be worth noting that people of all ages can develop colon cancer, and most new cases of colon cancer are in people over the age of 50.
This is important, as individuals over this age should definitely go in for regular check-ups. If you experience rectal bleeding, no matter your age, seek medical attention immediately as it may be something more than just hemorrhoids. And remember, constipation can exacerbate rectal bleeding.
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What Should I Do If I Have Signs And Symptoms Of Colon Cancer Or Hemorrhoids
When to Call the Doctor for Colon Cancer Symptoms and Signs
If you have any of these symptoms call a doctor.
- Bright red blood on the toilet paper, in the toilet bowl, or in your stool when you have a bowel movement
- Change in the character or frequency of your bowel movements
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement
- Unexplained or persistent abdominal pain or distension
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained, persistent nausea or vomiting
If you have any of these symptoms, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Department.
- Large amounts of bleeding from your rectum, especially if associated with sudden weakness or dizziness
- Unexplained severe pain in your belly or pelvis
- Vomiting and inability to keep fluids down
When to Call the Doctor for Hemorrhoid Symptoms and Signs
Bleeding from the rectum or anus is never normal and although hemorrhoids are the most common reason to have blood in the stool. If you have rectal bleeding or blood in your stool, call a doctor. Other causes of rectal bleeding exist and can be serious. Inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the colon can cause with rectal bleeding. Blood in the stool should never be ignored.
When To See The Doctor
Hemorrhoids usually just need home remedies and time to go away. If the symptoms persist for more than a couple of days or get worse, however, you should consult a doctor. If theres consistent blood appearing during bowel movements, it could be a sign of colon cancer or other bowel diseases like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis.
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Is Rectal Bleeding Serious
In some cases, rectal bleeding can be a minor symptom of a condition that can be easily treated. Hemorrhoids, for example, can cause you to experience rectal bleeding. This usually doesnt last long and hemorrhoids are often easy to treat. However, rectal bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition like colorectal cancer. Its important to keep track of any bleeding you are experiencing. If its heavy, frequent or causing you to worry, call your healthcare provider to check it out.
Treatment For Anal Fissures
Here are some ways you can treat your anal fissure on your own:
- Follow a high-fiber diet or take fiber supplements to make your bowel movements softer. For more information, read our resource Food Sources of Fiber.
- Drink 8 glasses of water daily to help prevent hard bowel movements.
- Take warm sitz baths for 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day and after bowel movements. A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses your anus.
- You can use your bathtub or buy at your local pharmacy a plastic sitz bathtub that fits over your toilet.
There are also medications you can take to help treat anal fissures. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about the benefits and side effects of these medications. Examples of these medications include:
- Take stool softeners or laxatives , such as Docusate Sodium or Senna , to make your bowel movements softer. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to take this medication if needed.
- Apply a topical local anesthetic , like lidocaine , around your anus to help with the pain.
- Apply a medication to relax the muscles around your anal canal. Relaxing the muscles around your anal canal can help reduce pressure, relieve pain, and make it easier for you to have a bowel movement.
- Your healthcare provider will give you a prescription for one of these medications, such as topical diltiazem or nitroglycerin ointment, and tell you how to apply it. Make sure to wear disposable gloves when applying these medications.
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Changes In Bowel Habits
Changes in bowel habits that can indicate colon or rectal cancer include the following:
New-onset constipation or diarrhea
Changes in frequency or size and caliber of bowel movements
A bowel that doesnt seem to empty completely
Stool that is narrower than normal
Occasional bowel changes can be caused by a dietary change, disagreeable food or a viral/bacterial infection. However, if you are experiencing something new and unexplainedand it lasts more than a couple of dayssee your doctor.
5 Things Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health
Ever curious what bowel changes could signal about your health? Poop may be a gross topic that no one likes to talk about, but taking a quick peek before you flush may give you clues about your health.
Do Colon Cancer Symptoms Come On Suddenly
Colon cancer can develop in any part of your colon, while rectal cancer affects your rectum, which connects the colon to the anus. Frequent diarrhea and constipation may be symptoms of cancer, particularly if these bowel changes come on suddenly. These problems also may occur with frequent gas and abdominal pain.
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