Hemorrhoids Turn Out To Be Cancer And More
J Fam Pract
Jeffrey L. Susman, MDEditor-in-Chief
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of The Journal of Family Practice from Medical Malpractice: Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska . The information about the cases presented here is sometimes incomplete pertinent details of a given situation therefore may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Nevertheless, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.
Hemorrhoids turn out to be cancer
A 49-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, whose husband was on active duty with the US Army, went to an army community hospital in March complaining of hemorrhoids, back pain, and itching, burning, and pain with bowel movements. A guaiac-based fecal occult blood test was positive no further testing was done to rule out rectal cancer.
The woman was discharged with pain medication but returned the following day, reporting intense anal pain despite taking the medication and bright red blood in her stools. The symptoms were attributed to hemorrhoids, and the patient was given a toilet donut and topical medication. Although her records noted a referral to a general surgeon, the referral wasnt arranged or scheduled.
Less than a week after the surgery consult, the patients husband was transferred to another military base. Her doctors said that a surgeon at the new base would be told about her medical condition, but that didnt happen.
Can Hemorrhoids Bleed Without A Bowel Movement
Yes, hemorrhoids can bleed without a bowel movement. Bleeding can occur when an external hemorrhoid forms a blood clot, resulting in a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
The blood clot can burst, resulting in bleeding around the anal area.
If you have a thrombosed hemorrhoid, do not attempt to try to pop the blood clot open or you could put yourself at risk of getting an infection or causing complications.
If you find that you are bleeding from the anal area, contact your doctor, regardless of whether or not you have hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding can be a sign of another complication or gastrointestinal disorder.
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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Are Hemorrhoids Sign Of Colon Cancer
Hemorrhoids and certain types of cancer, most notably colon cancer and anal cancer, can cause similar symptoms. This might cause people with rectal bleeding or lumps in the anus to believe that they have cancer. Hemorrhoids are more common than cancer and are the most likely explanation for bleeding or rectal pain.
What Is The Treatment For Rectal Cancer
Surgery is likely to be the only necessary step in treatment if stage I rectal cancer is diagnosed.
The risk of the cancer coming back after surgery is low, and therefore, chemotherapy is not usually offered. Sometimes, after the removal of a tumor, the doctor discovers that the tumor penetrated into the mesorectum or that the lymph nodes contained cancer cells . In these individuals, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are offered after recovery from the surgery to reduce the chance of the cancer returning. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy given after surgery is called adjuvant therapy.
If the initial exams and tests show a person to have stage II or III rectal cancer, then chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be considered before surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation given before surgery is called neoadjuvant therapy. This therapy lasts approximately six weeks. Neoadjuvant therapy is performed to shrink the tumor so it can be more completely removed by surgery. In addition, a person is likely to tolerate the side effects of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy better if this therapy is administered before surgery rather than afterward.
The following chemotherapy drugs may be used at various points during therapy:
Medications are available to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and antibody treatments. If side effects occur, an oncologist should be notified so that they can be addressed promptly.
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How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed And Treated
Your doctor can typically diagnose hemorrhoids on sight, especially if you have external hemorrhoids, or through internal examination with a finger and anoscope. They can often be easily treated by avoiding straining, increasing dietary fiber , and topical over-the-counter medication or home remedies, including sitting in a warm bath to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Pain relievers can also help to reduce discomfort. Symptoms usually go away within a few weeks. If you have persistent symptoms, your doctor might recommend a colonoscopy to rule out any other problems in your GI tract, and then office-based procedures or surgery.
What you need to remember is that if pain and bleeding persist, or are associated with pelvic pain and a fever, it’s time to see your doctor to rule out any other issues such as gastrointestinal diseases, infections or anal cancer, which share similar symptoms.
How To Tell If You Have Bleeding Hemorrhoids
The most obvious indicator of bleeding hemorrhoids is blood in the stool. There are additional indicators that let you determine whether it is blood from hemorrhoids or something else.
First, look at the blood and determine its color. Is the blood red, brown, or black? Blood from a bleeding hemorrhoid will always be red because it is fresh. If the blood is brown or black, it could be a more serious condition and you should see your doctor right away.
Never ignore or brush off rectal bleeding, even if it is due to a bleeding hemorrhoid. In all cases of rectal bleeding, see a doctor. This is because it could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as, anal fissures, torn tissue, or an infection. The doctor will use a scope to examine your rectum and colon in order to determine the origin of the bleeding.
Doctors can confirm whether the blood is in fact coming from a bleeding hemorrhoid or something more. They will also let you know if the treatment you are using is effective.
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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.
How Would My Stool Look If I Had Rectal Bleeding
When you have blood in your stool it can look a few different ways. You may have bright red streaks of blood on your poop or you could see blood mixed in with it. Stool could also look very dark, almost black, and tarry.
Sometimes, you can have blood in your stool thats not visible. This is called occult bleeding. This can be a sign of bleeding inside your digestive tract. It can also signal a more serious condition like an inflammation disease in your intestines or cancer. Occult bleeding is usually found during lab tests that look at a sample of your poop to check for small amounts of blood. This is called a fecal occult blood test and it can be used as a way to screen for possible colorectal cancer. Your healthcare provider might recommend this if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.
One thing to keep in mind when you see an unusual color in your poop is what you ate. There are certain foods that can change the color of your stool and make it look red or even black. This is often mistaken for blood in your stool.
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When Do I Need To See A Doctor About Rectal Bleeding
Its usually a good idea to reach out to your healthcare provider whenever you have rectal bleeding. It can be a sign of another health condition that might need treatment. If you have heavy bleeding or are seeing blood in multiple bowel movements, its urgent that you see your provider. Rectal bleeding can have serious causes that need to be treated.
How Do You Screen For Anal Cancer
Women and other people that have a uterus get checked for cancers and pre-cancer in the cervix with a procedure called a pap smear on a regular basis. They arent called anal pap smears, but there is a similar screening procedure for anal cancer, said Palefsky.
Called anal cytology, this procedure involves taking and analyzing samples of cells from the anal canal to look for pre-cancerous anal lesions. Although this test doesnt require much special training and set-up to do, but the follow-up to this test does. So we actually dont recommend that people get anal cytology if they arent going to be able to see a specialist who is able to handle an abnormal result, said Palefsky.
Colonoscopies are not a good way to find anal disease, said Berry-Lawhorn. If youve had a colonoscopy recently, and everything was normal, that doesnt mean you dont have pre-cancerous or cancerous anal lesions.
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Can Hemorrhoids Cause Anal Skin Tags How Are Skin Tags Treated
Skin tags may be caused by blood vessels in the anal area swelling under the skin and then reducing in size again. When the swelling reduces, the skin may not reduce back down again to what it was before. The loose skin that results may become a skin tag.
Common and harmlessanal skin tags are small bumps on the anus that may feel itchy. Common causes include hemorrhoids, diarrhea, and inflammation. A doctor can remove the skin tags with a quick in-office procedure called electrodesiccation, in which an electrical current is applied to the skin and dries them out.
Is There A Cure For Hemorrhoids
If you found us by searching for a hemorrhoids cure, you have come to the right place. Unfortunately there is no quick cure for hemorrhoids though. You can however relieve hemorrhoid symptoms like pain and inflammation, naturally & quickly and also control your hemorrhoidal outbreaks. Selecting the best natural solution and making the right lifestyle choices are all it takes to prevent hemorrhoids and control flare-ups.*
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What Natural Home Remedies Soothe Or Cure Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoid symptoms of pain and itching can be treated at home by doing the following.
Warm Sitz Baths
- Sitting in a few inches of warm water three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes may help decrease the inflammation of the hemorrhoids.
- It is important to dry off the anal area completely after each Sitz bath to minimize irritation of the skin surrounding the anus.
- Increased fluid intake and dietary fiber will decrease the potential for constipation and lessen the pressure on the rectum and anus during a bowel movement, minimizing further swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. Dietary fiber supplements also may help bulk up the stools
- Stool softeners may help. A health-care professional or a pharmacist are good resources to discuss their use.
- Individuals with hemorrhoids should not sit for long periods of time and may benefit from sitting on an air or rubber donut available at most local pharmacies.
- Exercise is helpful in relieving constipation and in decreasing pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins. Individuals should be encouraged to have a bowel movement as soon as possible after the urge arises and not sit on the toilet for long periods of time. Once that urge passes, stools can become constipated and straining with a bowel movement may occur.
What Happens If External Hemorrhoids Are Left Untreated
A few initial symptoms that indicate you may have external hemorrhoids include an itchy, nagging feeling around the anal area, along with swelling and pain. If left untreated, the condition could worsen and turn into a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which is a large and extremely painful bulge containing clotted blood.
Hemorrhoids are a very common anorectal condition that affects millions of people around the world. Over half of all people will develop symptomatic hemorrhoids at some point, so its common to wonder how to get rid of hemorrhoids. Most patients are able to get rid of hemorrhoids with a high-fiber diet, herbal supplements and non-surgical medical treatments, such as my DIY Hemorrhoid Cream with Turmeric & Tea Tree Oil.
Hemorrhoids are frequently seen in primary care clinics, emergency wards, gastroenterology units and surgical clinics, but how do you know when hemorrhoids have developed and when you should see a doctor? These are common concerns among people who develop hemorrhoids and dont know how to deal with and treat the pain. Thankfully, there are natural treatments for how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast, and starting there may help relieve these literal pains in the butt.
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Understanding And Examining Hemorrhoids
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Bleeding Hemorrhoids Home Treatment Options
See one of the links below for guides on the best hemorrhoid products for each category or type of product. These are great treatment options for bleeding hemorrhoids at home.
Most hemorrhoids can be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies. There are ways to change your daily habits that can treat bleeding hemorrhoids.
When it comes to bleeding hemorrhoids, you should consult with your physician or hemorrhoid doctor.
This is because rectal bleeding is also a sign of colorectal or anal cancer. Bleeding with pain can be a sign of an anal fissure or a tear in the skin at the opening of the anus.
Once your doctor has determined that your rectal bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids, there are several hemorrhoid treatments available for bleeding hemorrhoids.
Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Can Help
Constipation is a common cause of hemorrhoids, so avoiding it at all costs can be an effective treatment for hemorrhoids.
Proper diet and hydration are very important for overall health .
Plus, its very helpful when dealing with hemorrhoids.
The use of stool softeners can also be helpful in treating hemorrhoids .
Make sure you follow proper hygiene practices and avoid straining during bowel movements.
Internal Hemorrhoids Medical Procedures
Internal hemorrhoids that bleed can be treated with many different options. The rubber band ligation is one of the most common treatment options for bleeding internal hemorrhoids.
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Anal Cancer Causes And Risk Factors
We dont know what causes most anal cancers, but several factors may increase your risk of developing the disease.
You are more at risk of getting anal cancer if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
- The most common risk factor is Human papilloma virus , an infection which causes genital and anal warts.
- A history of cervical or vaginal cancer, or abnormal cells of the cervix, likely to be linked with HPV or smoking.
- A lowered immune response as a result of another condition or treatment for other illnesses which suppress your immune system, such as HIV, or following organ transplantation.
- Smoking tobacco has been shown to increase the risk of developing many cancers, including cancer of the anus.
- Being aged over 50, and in younger adults with HIV infection.
- Some data suggests that people with a high lifetime number of sexual partners, are at higher risk. This may be due to the increased risk of contracting HPV.
Although Hemorrhoids And Colon Cancer Are Two Very Different Conditions They Can Share Similar Symptoms This Guide Will Help You Learn About The Different Signs
Noticing blood in your stool for the first time is understandably alarming. The good news is that its likely that blood in your stool is an indication of hemorrhoids, which while not much fun, arent generally a serious medical condition.
Hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins located in the anus and rectum area, and theyre quite common: Approximately half of all adults experience hemorrhoids by the age of 50. They can be internal or external , and symptoms can range from no or mild discomfort to significant pain, itchiness and bleeding.
While the exact cause of hemorrhoids is unknown, theyre most likely to occur when theres an increase in pressure in the area, such as when you strain to have a bowel movement, for example. Theyre more likely to occur during pregnancy, aging, sitting for long periods of time, chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining or lifting heavy objects.
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