Do I Have Hemorrhoids Or Bowel Cancer
As we get older our bodies change and often we mistake a common symptom for another more deadly disease. The symptoms of hemorrhoids and bowel cancer can be quite similar but do not have the same fatal results. Being able to distinguish between the two can be the difference between uncomfortable bowel motions and something more serious.
In NZ statistics show that most bowel cancer sufferers are aged over 50 yrs old with only around 10% under that age.
Signs You Have Colon Cancer
Rectal bleeding is not the sole sign of colon cancer. In fact, symptoms exhibited by patients may vary. Below are the most common signs of colon cancer:
- A constant change in bowel movement including diarrhea and constipation
- Change in stool consistency
- Cramping, gas, and other forms of pain
- Consistent and progressive abdominal discomfort
- Fatigue and breathlessness
- Unprecedented weight loss
- Feeling bloated
- Inability to pass gas
The presence of blood in the stool is interpreted as an alarming sign of colon cancer. However, that alone is not a conclusive proof of colon cancer. Doctors usually require further testing to clearly establish the cause of the bleeding.
On the other hand, experiencing abnormal bleeding accompanied with one or more of the symptoms above require urgent medical attention. Various tests are available in order to rule out colon cancer.
Is It Common To See Blood In The Urine
No. The presence of blood in the urine is usually a sign of bladder cancer, not colon cancer. If you suspect having or have been diagnosed with colon cancer but observe blood in your urine, this might be a sign of further complications not related to your colon.
Bladder cancer can be identified through various urine tests, one of them being cytology. Frequent urination, pain during urination, and the inability to pass urine are all signs of bladder cancer.
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Colorectal Cancer Vs Hemorrhoids
In other words, the symptoms of hemorrhoids are inconstant. You may find blood in your stool or on the toilet paper one day, but not the next. Moreover, the symptoms usually go away over time. Colon cancer, on the other hand, doesnt subside in the same way. Neither do the symptoms of colon cancer. Constant rectal bleeding is more often a sign of colorectal cancer than hemorrhoids.
Pain is another major differentiator between hemorrhoids and cancer. While hemorrhoids can cause pain, the rectal bleeding associated with hemorrhoids almost never does. If youre experiencing painful rectal bleeding, you may have something more serious than hemorrhoids.
Pain is usually associated with internal hemorrhoids, which are less common than external hemorrhoids.
How Do I Treat Rectal Bleeding
In most cases, rectal bleeding can be treated by caring for the cause of the bleeding. Rectal bleeding is often a part of a bigger issue that needs to be taken care of. Once that condition has been treated, the bleeding usually stops. Treatment options can vary depending on the condition. Conditions like anal fissures can go away on their own over time or be treated with ointments. Hemorrhoids are another common cause of rectal bleeding that can be treated by either resolving any constipation issues, changing your diet and water intake, or possibly having surgery.
One more severe cause of rectal bleeding can be cancer. If this is the case, your healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan to treat the cancer, often removing any tumors.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away. In fact, many of the symptoms of colorectal cancer can also be caused by other problems, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease.
It’s important to get checked if you have any of following problems. In many cases, people who have these symptoms do not have cancer. But you should talk to your doctor if you have any of them so the cause can be found and treated.
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Blood in the stool, which might make it look dark brown or black
- Cramping or abdominal pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Losing weight without trying
Often colorectal cancer doesnt cause symptoms until it has grown or spread. Thats why its best to be tested for colorectal cancer before ever having any symptoms. Colorectal cancer thats found early through screening, before you have symptoms, might be easier to treat. Screening can even prevent some colorectal cancers by finding and removing pre-cancerous growths called polyps.
The Future Of Blood Testing
As mentioned, blood tests arent typically considered as stand-alone methods of diagnosis for colon cancer. However, recent findings suggest otherwise.
New research suggests that blood tests can finally be used to find colon cancer, catching it even in its early stage . This experiment was conducted in a hospital in Taoyuan, Taiwan where 620 participants were tested for CTCs or circulating tumor cells.
The blood sample is analyzed with a blood assay called CMX. The results were able to distinguish CTCs present in the blood, which is useful in identifying people with both precancerous polyps and existing colon cancer.
How accurate is this new blood test for colon cancer? The results came back with an 84-88% accuracy, with false positives only coming back at less than 3%. These numbers are significantly better than FOBT, which is the standard method for detecting colon cancer.
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Are There Any Foods That Can Change The Color Of My Stool In A Similar Way To Rectal Bleeding
There are certain foods that can make your poop an unusual color. You can have green, yellow and even black stool. This can happen for a variety of reasons having too much bile during digestion, having a medical condition like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, being on antibiotics, or even just eating foods with strong color pigments.
Often, blood can make your stool look very dark and almost black. Foods like black licorice, beets, dark berries and red gelatin can all make your poop look very dark. This can easily be confused for blood in your stool. If you notice very dark poop during a bowel movement, think back to what you ate recently. Theres a chance that what you ate could be the cause for the usually dark stool.
Should Young People Get Colonoscopies
Even though colorectal cancer is rising in young people, the incidence is still too low to justify routine colonoscopies for them. Once a screening test is developed for a disease, it’s important to make sure that the number of screenings performed will prevent enough cancers to justify the costs of and risks associated with the tests.
A colonoscopy is performed with the patient under conscious sedation. The doctor inserts a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end through the rectum to examine the colon. The tube also allows a doctor to remove any polyps that may be precancerous, heading off many cancers before they develop. For that reason, colonoscopy is considered to be one of the biggest reasons for the overall decrease in colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopies are recommended for most people at age 50, and repeated every 10 years. They are recommended at age 45 for Black men and women, who have a higher risk of colorectal cancer and sometimes earlier for people who have a family history. But Dr. Reddy does prescribe colonoscopies for people of all ages who have symptoms such as rectal bleeding that they cant diagnose with a different problem.
If youre not satisfied that your doctor has properly evaluated your symptoms, its smart to get a second opinion or even a third.
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How To Tell The Difference Between Hemorrhoids And Colon Cancer
Change in bowel habits or consistency of stool.Colon cancer and hemorrhoids are very different conditions, but they can produce blood in the stool.Colon cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the colon .Colon cancer patients have bleeding, a change in the consistency of their stools and a detectable growth of cells in the anus.
Colon cancer, due to a lesion in bowel if localized.Colon cancer, on the other hand, doesnt subside in the same way.Constant rectal bleeding is more often a sign of colorectal cancer than hemorrhoids.Difference between hemorrhoids and colon cancer symptoms.
Do i have hemorrhoids or colon cancer?Following are some factors that contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids:Hemorrhoids and colon cancer are two separate abnormalities.Hemorrhoids are swollen and enlarged veins in the lower part of the rectum and the anus.
Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are blood vessels that have become swollen due to increased abdominal pressure and/or constipation / diarrhea episodes.Here we list common things to understand the major differences between a hemorrhoid and colon cancer:If you experience any of the symptoms of piles or bowel cancer it is wise to visit your doctor and get it.In other cases, blood in the stool could be an indication of something.
hemorrhoids are not malignant while colon cancer is. hemorrhoids present with fresh bleeding per rectum while the blood is slightly old in colon cancer.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Hemorrhoids And Cancer
Both hemorrhoid blood and colon cancer bleeding from the lower rectum is red rather than brown.Can hemorrhoids lead to colon cancer?Cancer can and oftentimes can cause rectal bleeding and no, it is not just.Cancer develops because cells grow out of control.
Colon cancer and rectal cancer.Colon cancer, however, can cause changes in bowel habits.Conditions such as hemorrhoids or fissures can also cause small amounts of blood, so if you notice blood, contact your physician and be sure to explain any other.Discomfort when sitting and laying down unlike rectal cancer, hemorrhoids are typically caused by changeable lifestyle habits such as lack of movement and exercise , sedentary work, and straining from constipation, as well as pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids and cancer are very different conditions that can cause some of the same symptoms.Hemorrhoids and colon cancer are two separate abnormalities.Hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins located in the anus and rectum area, and theyre quite common:Hemorrhoids are soft purplish veins under the skin.
Hemorrhoids are usually a result of chronic constipation, straining, diarrhea, or pressure on the lower rectal muscles, like pregnancy and childbirth.Hemorrhoids can be either internal or external .Hemorrhoids can cause itching and pain around the anal area, which are not symptoms of rectal cancer.Hemorrhoids do not cause rectal cancer
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.
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.
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What Happens If I Have Colorectal Cancer
If you have colon or rectal cancer, treatment depends on which type of cancer it is, how big it is, and whether it has spread. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Many people get more than one type of treatment. Its important to talk openly with your doctor and ask questions if you dont understand something. Here is a list of questions to ask your doctor that you can take with you.
What If You Get Colorectal Cancer
While every case is different, the good news is that surgery for both colon and rectal cancers can be highly successfuleven for many patients with advanced disease. While the treatment depends on the extent of the cancer, most patients will need surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. Some may need additional chemotherapy and some patients with rectal cancer may need radiation therapy, too. And some patients will need a colostomy, a procedure to connect the bowel to an opening in the abdomen for stool to pass through into a disposable bag. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the surgery and, in some cases, the patient.
Surgery for rectal cancer is more highly specialized and intricate because of the location of rectal tumorsand the importance of preserving the ability to control bowel movements. Dr. Reddy says it’s important to choose a surgeon who has done many of these procedures.
Cancer is almost like an intruder in your house. It’s that level of threat.Philana Gydricza, clinical social worker
Many patients worry about how cancer treatment will affect their appearance and sexualityespecially if they are single and hope to have a long-term relationship in their future.
Gydricza and other social workers do their best to make sure patients like this know they will be vital after treatment. We tell them they still can be very sexy and beautiful, she says.
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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.
Diagnosing Hemorrhoids Vs Cancer
A doctor can usually diagnose hemorrhoids by conducting a simple rectal exam and taking a medical history. If they notice an unusual growth that is not a hemorrhoid, they may recommend a biopsy to test for anal cancer.
Diagnosing colon cancer is more difficult. This is because cancer markers do not necessarily correlate with the presence or absence of cancer. Therefore, the doctor may also recommend testing based on symptoms. For example, they may ask if a person has bleeding but no hemorrhoids or if hemorrhoid treatment does not relieve their symptoms.
They may perform blood work to look for cancer markers or recommend a colonoscopy to look for growths. A colonoscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible tube into the rectum while the person is asleep or sedated. If the doctor finds a growth, they may examine it in the laboratory or recommend a biopsy.
A number of lifestyle changes may improve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. For example, people can try:
- eating more fiber
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Abdominal Pain And Bloating
Stomach bloating, distention, cramps or pain in the abdominal or bowel region can be symptoms of colon or rectal cancer. These are common issues that can also be caused by a number of conditions, including diet-related gastrointestinal distress, Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis. See your doctor if you experience frequent abdominal pain and bloating that does not have an obvious cause.
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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