What Causes Rectal Cancer
Rectal cancer usually develops over several years, first growing as a precancerous growth called a polyp. Some polyps have the ability to turn into cancer and begin to grow and penetrate the wall of the rectum. The actual cause of rectal cancer is unclear. However, the following are risk factors for developing rectal cancer:
- Increasing age
- Family history of colon or rectal cancer
- High-fat diet and/or a diet mostly from animal sources
- Personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Family history is a factor in determining the risk of rectal cancer. If a family history of colorectal cancer is present in a first-degree relative , then endoscopy of the colon and rectum should begin 10 years before the age of the relative’s diagnosis or at age 50 years, whichever comes first. An often forgotten risk factor, but perhaps the most important, is the lack of screening for rectal cancer. Routine cancer screening of the colon and rectum is the best way to prevent rectal cancer.
Rectal Cancer Symptoms Vs Hemorrhoid Symptoms Quick Comparison
Bleeding from the rectum is the most common sign or symptom that both rectal cancer and hemorrhoids share. Other shared symptoms include blood mixed with stool, a change in bowel habits , tenesmus , and discomfort and/or pain during bowel movements.
Rectal cancer can have symptoms of unexplained weight loss in the absence of dieting, bowel obstruction, anemia, and fatigue. These symptoms are not usually seen with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids produce the symptom of pruritus in the rectal and/or anal area while rectal cancers usually do not.
Many hemorrhoids can be palpated or seen during a physical exam and are usually easy to diagnose. Rectal cancers are diagnosed by biopsy.
Rectal Cancers are composed of abnormal, uncontrolled cells that may metastasize to other organ systems. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are blood vessels that have become swollen due to increased abdominal pressure and/or constipation/diarrhea episodes. They are located only in the rectal/anal area and do not metastasize.
Any situation that increases abdominal pressure is a risk factor for developing hemorrhoids. In contrast, risks for developing rectal cancer are increasing age, smoking, a family history of cancer, and other gastrointestinal diseases.
They Do It For Themselves First
“Your desire to maintain must be driven by something that’s deeper and consistent with your own internal values,” says Scott Kahan, MD, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness.
Take some time to think about what’s really important to you and how your weight ties into it. For example, you want to be there to see your grandkids grow up, or to take that biking vacation you’ve always wanted to do.
A Noticeable Bulge At The Anus That Seems To Retract Following A Bowel Movement
Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse or fall outside of the anal opening during a bowel movement. Initially, the tissue may retract on its own or be easily pushed back inside. But prolapse can worsen over time and can eventually cause significant irritation, itching, bleeding, and pain as this internal tissue becomes trapped outside of the anus. Early treatment helps prevent the prolapse from worsening.
Related Resources For Hemorrhoids
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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
There are two main types of hemorrhoids:
Internal Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop inside the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids usually dont hurt, but they often bleed painlessly, resulting in bright red blood you might notice when you go to the bathroom and wipe.
Most of the time, internal hemorrhoids are not visible to the naked eye. But in some cases, internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus, which is known as becoming prolapsed. When this happens, they will usually shrink back inside the rectum on their own. Protruding hemorrhoids can become irritated and itchy, and patients may find it difficult to clean themselves after a bowel movement.
Internal hemorrhoids are categorized by how prolapsed they are, which helps determine how they should be treated.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids Are They Painful
It depends on the type of hemorrhoids you have, Dr. Nelson says. If you have external hemorrhoids, youll probably have the following symptoms:
- anal itching
- one or more hard, tender lumps near your anus
- an anal ache or pain that you feel or gets worse when you sit
If you have internal hemorrhoids, youll likely have these symptoms:
- bleeding from your rectum
- a hemorrhoid that has fallen through your anus, which is called prolapse
Hemorrhoids, for the most part, do not cause pain when you have a bowel movement, says Rudolph Bedford, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. However, if you have a prolapsed hemorrhoid, you can also experience swelling and pain if it doesnt go back inside your body, Dr. Nelson says.
What Is The Difference Between An Internal External Or Thrombosed Hemmorhoid
- An internal hemorrhoid is a swollen blood vessel that arises from within the rectum above the pectinate line. It causes no symptoms unless there is bleeding with a bowel movement, or if it prolapses and can be felt externally after if protrudes through the anus.
- An external hemorrhoid arises from blood vessels that surround the anus beyond the pectinate line. They do not cause many problems unless they rapidly expand and clot. Usually this clot resolves spontaneously leaving residual skin.
- A thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when the blood clot that forms in an external hemorrhoid does not resolve causing increased swelling and pain within the hemorrhoidal tissue.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids That Havent Prolapsed
If you have an internal hemorrhoid, you may have no noticeable symptoms. In some cases, there may be some bleeding. If you have bleeding, it will likely show up as bright red blood on a tissue when you wipe following a bowel movement.
External hemorrhoids, even if they havent prolapsed, may feel uncomfortable and itchy.
How Long Does It Take To Recover
Having a bowel movement after any hemorrhoid procedure can be uncomfortable. This is especially true after surgery.
Your doctor will probably want you to have a bowel movement within 48 hours. You may be given a stool-softening medication to make it less painful.
It may take up to four weeks or longer before you can resume your usual activities after a hemorrhoidectomy. Recovering from the less-invasive procedures, such as sclerotherapy, coagulation, and rubber band litigation, may take just a few days. Sclerotherapy and coagulation may take a few sessions to be successful.
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Change In Bowel Habits
With a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid you may develop the sensation that you cant fully evacuate your bowels. You may also notice a mucous discharge or difficulty cleaning yourself following a bowel movement because of displaced toilet tissue.
These symptoms can be uncomfortable but easily treated with medical intervention.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Internal Or Prolapsed Hemorrhoid
Most often, internal hemorrhoids have no symptoms but are only found if there is bleeding with a bowel movement or if the hemorrhoid prolapses so that it can be felt outside of the anus. This may lead to itching and pain as well as the bleeding.
Prolapse of an internal hemorrhoid occurs when the internal hemorrhoids swell and extend from their location in the rectum through the anus. A prolapsed internal hemorrhoid:
- Can be felt as a lump outside the anus
- Can be gently pushed back through the anus, this may resolve the location of the hemorrhoid, but does not fix the hemorrhoid itself
- May enlarge and swell even more if it cannot be pushed back
- May become entrapped, which requires more urgent medical attention
Hemorrhoids may also cause anal itching , and a constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement .
Internal hemorrhoid severity can be graded:
- Grade I: Prominent blood vessels with no prolapse
- Grade II: Prolapse with bearing down but with spontaneous reduction
- Grade III: Prolapse with bearing down but requiring manual reduction
- Grade IV: Prolapse with inability to manual reduction
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Banding With The Crh Oregan System
Banding can be one of the best ways to remove internal hemorrhoids and keep them from recurring. Endoscopic banding may seem like a better alternative, but this is an involved procedure that requires preparation and sedation. Hemorrhoid banding with the CRH ORegan System is an excellent alternative to other methods of hemorrhoid banding. Instead of using metal forceps to keep the affected vein in place, a small disposable ligator applies gentle suction. This method requires no preparation or sedation, makes the procedure pain-free and should cause no discomfort after the procedure.
Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented Or Avoided
Just about everyone has hemorrhoids at some time. But some things may make you more likely to get them. People whose parents had hemorrhoids may be more likely to get them. Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids because of the strain from carrying the baby and from giving birth. Being very overweight or standing or lifting too much can make hemorrhoids worse.
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When To Call Your Doctor
Even if you think it’s from hemorrhoids, you should call your doctor about any rectal bleeding. It’s also a symptom of colon polyps, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer. Anal fissures can also cause pain and bleeding. So you’ll want to make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.
If your hemorrhoids are very painful or aren’t getting better after you’ve tried treating them yourself, let your doctor know.
Signs Of Hemorrhoids Faqs
Q: Do I have hemorrhoids or cancer?A: Hemorrhoids, anal cancer and colorectal cancer can cause bleeding, with bright red blood. Other signs of colorectal cancer include:
- Dark red blood in feces
- Changes in bowel habits, such as having diarrhea or being constipated
- A feeling of needing a bowel movement that does not go away after having one
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tiredness or feeling weaker than normal
- Pain from gas, bloating, cramps or a feeling of being full
Other signs of anal cancer include:
- Pain around the anus
- Changes in bowel habits, such as having diarrhea
If a person suspects they may have cancer, they should see a medical professional immediately.
Q: Are hemorrhoids supposed to bleed?A: It is normal for hemorrhoids to bleed with bright red blood. Bleeding from hemorrhoids will most often not be painful and is usually not dangerous. It is rare for someone to bleed excessively. However, bleeding from the rectum and anus can be a sign of colorectal or anal cancer and should be examined by a doctor, especially in cases where a person is not aware of a pre-existing problem, such as hemorrhoids.
Q: How can you avoid making your hemorrhoids flare up or getting worse?A.: Some of the following steps can make the symptoms of hemorrhoids less likely to persist:
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Classification Of Internal Hemorrhoids:
- Grade 1 – A hemorrhoid is present but only visualized by a doctor with ansocopy or colonoscopy. The hemorrhoid does not extend out the anus.
- Grade 2 – The hemorrhoid extends out of the anus with a bowel movement or with straining. After your BM, the hemorrhoid goes back inside on its own.
- Grade 3 – The hemorrhoid extends out of the anus with a bowel movement or with straining. You have to manually push the hemorrhoid back inside the anus. If you have this, you should seek medical attention, but it is not urgent.
- Grade 4 – A hemorrhoid extends outside the anus and are not able to be manually pushed back inside. If you have this seek medical attention immediately. There are significant potential complications.
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common as you get older. These steps can help prevent hard stools and constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids:
- Dont sit too long or push too hard on the toilet.
- Go the toilet when the urge hits dont delay bowel movements.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Eat more high-fiber foods or take supplements. Generally, women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should get 35 grams of fiber.
- Stay physically active. Being on the move keeps bowels moving.
- Take laxatives or use enemas only as recommended by your healthcare provider. Too many laxatives or enemas can make it hard for your body to regulate how you poop.
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When Should You See Your Doctor
We spoke with Dr. Lauren R. Wilson, a specialist in colorectal surgery and assistant professor of surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for her input.
“If you’re having any kind of issue with your bottom, go see your primary care doctor and ask them to take a look. Rectal exams used to be part of an annual physical, but a lot of doctors just don’t do them anymore. You need to be open to having an exam and ask them about it.”
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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*** The Extended Sitting Position
With the hyper capitalization of our society, more and more people have become sedentary. While working in an office is perceived as the pinnacle of social success, it is also a vicious circle that encourages the emergence of many health problems.
The reduction of energy expenditure is one of the direct consequences of sedentarisation. It usually leads to weight gain and is a factor contributing to obesity. If normally sitting for too long submits the anal vessels to great pressure, the weight gain tenfold this pressure. Obesity is, therefore, an aggravating factor.
It is also established that sitting too long in the toilet increases the venous tension of hemorrhoids in the anus and rectum. If you do not have the hemorrhoidal disease yet, this unfortunate habit increases your chances of developing it. If, on the contrary, you are already prone to hemorrhoids, you make your problem worse and slow your recovery.
What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that develop in the lining of the anal and rectal cavity. External hemorrhoids, being the only type visible to the naked eye, are the easiest to spot. These hemorrhoids look like small bulbs or growths of skin that stick out of the anal sphincter.
The color of hemorrhoids is typically the same as that of your skin, but may be red or blue depending on the severity. The size of the hemorrhoid will also vary depending on the severity.
You will only see an internal hemorrhoid with the help of an endoscopic camera, such as that is used in a colonoscopy. An image of internal hemorrhoids will show small growths sticking out of the lining of the anal cavity.
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Treatments For Hemorrhoids Vs Rectal Prolapse
Treatments for hemorrhoids
More severe cases of hemorrhoids may require surgery. Your doctor may recommend treating milder cases of hemorrhoids with the following at-home remedies, including:
- Sit in a bathtub full of plain, warm water several times per day.
- Place ice packs on the hemorrhoids to help with swelling.
- Apply hemorrhoid creams or inserting suppositories.
- Add more fiber to your diet.
- Take stool softeners.
Treatments for rectal prolapse
Treatments for rectal prolapse usually focus on preventing constipation and straining. Kegel exercises and stool softeners can also help. Rectal prolapse will sometimes go away on its own. However, severe cases of rectal prolapse may require surgery, such as:
- Repair can be made through the abdomen to attach the rectum to the backbone to keep it in place.
- Repair can be made through the rectum to remove the prolapsed section.
- Some repairs combine both techniques through the abdomen and rectum.
Talk to your doctor about whether you have hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse so you can get the right treatment and relieve your pain and discomfort.
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.
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