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How To Tell The Difference Between Hemorrhoids And Cancer

How Is Anal Cancer Diagnosed And Treated

What Are the Differences Between Colon Cancer and Hemorrhoid Symptoms and Signs?

Most anal cancers are discovered because of patient symptoms. Your doctor might do a digital rectal exam and a pelvic exam with a Pap test, or could also recommend various types of diagnostic scopes, depending on the affected area.

Biopsies are also usually taken of any polyps or unusual growths. Once anal cancer is diagnosed, additional testing with imaging studies is performed to look for spread of the disease and establish a stage. Depending on the stage of the disease, most cases are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. However, depending on symptoms or if these treatments aren’t effective, surgery may be recommended.

Unexplained Weight Loss Loss Of Appetite And Feeling Weak

Losing weight, losing your appetite or feeling weak are all possible signs of colon or rectal cancer along with many other unrelated conditions. In patients with colon or rectal cancer, these symptoms are usually related. Persistent diarrhea can cause weight loss. Stomach pain and nausea can reduce your appetite so that you dont consume enough food to maintain your weight. All these issues, as well as anemia, can lead to weakness.

What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 1 Colon Cancer

SymptomsA persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.A feeling that your bowel doesnt empty completely.Weakness or fatigue.Unexplained weight loss.Mar 16, 2021

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Signs And Symptoms Of Anal Cancer

Sometimes anal cancer causes no symptoms at all. But bleeding is often the first sign of the disease. The bleeding is usually minor. At first, most people assume the bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids . Hemorrhoids are a benign and fairly common cause of rectal bleeding.

Important symptoms of anal cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Itching in or around the rectum
  • A lump or mass at the anal opening
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness in the anal area
  • Narrowing of stool or other changes in bowel movements
  • Abnormal discharge from the anus
  • Incontinence of stool
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin areas

Most often these types of symptoms are more likely to be caused by benign conditions, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or anal warts. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

What Causes Rectal Cancer

Colon Cancer Screening: Who Should Get Screened &  How

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
  • Smoking
  • 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.

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How To Tell Difference Between Hemorrhoid And Cancer

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren R. Wilson.

When Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett died of anal cancer in 2009, it put a spotlight on a disease that isn’t talked about much but has early symptoms similar to everyday hemorrhoids. Understanding the risk factors and the differences between anal cancer and hemorrhoids is critical to staying healthy. Here’s what you should know.

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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.

Do I Have Hemorrhoids Or Bowel Cancer

Difference Between Hemorrhoids and Colon 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.

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Get To Know Rectal Cancer

Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the rectum. Sometimes cancerous tumors develop relatively close to the anal canal, a short tube at the end of the rectum through which stool leaves the body. It is commonly found in both male and female. Major contributing factor to develop rectal cancer is related to the family history of cancer, especially first-degree relatives. A wide range of signs and symptoms of rectal cancer might include rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, irregular stool patterns such separate hard lumps, a feeling of incomplete defecation, persistent changes in bowel habits including diarrhea or constipation, or alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation, abdominal discomfort such as cramps or pain, fatigue or weakness and unintentional weight loss. In addition, manifestations are determined by disease severity, location and its stage.

Hemorrhoids have certainly shared similarities with rectal cancer. If these warning signs and symptoms exhibit, immediate medical attention must be sought in order to receive appropriate and timely treatments. The differences involve:

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 Known Causes And Risk Factors For Hemorrhoids

Doctors point to a variety of causes and factors for developing symptomatic hemorrhoids, including:

  • Straining during a bowel movement
  • Sitting on the toilet for a long period of time
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Being over 50 years of age
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Weakening of the tissues around the anus due to aging

Causes Of Anal Fissures

Hemorrhoids or cancer? How to tell the difference

The most common cause of anal fissures is injuring the lining of your anus. This can happen when you:

  • Have large bowel movements
  • Have hard, dry bowel movements
  • Have diarrhea
  • Are constipated
  • Strain or use force during your bowel movements
  • Give birth
  • Have anal sex

You may also develop an anal fissure if you have an anal infection or an anal tumor. These are less common.

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What Shrinks Hemorrhoids Fast

Home remediesEat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Take oral pain relievers.Jul 3, 2019

Difference Between Hemorrhoids And Colon Cancer

Hemorrhoids vs Colon Cancer

Both hemorrhoids and colon cancer occur in the large bowel or below and present with bleeding per rectum. But the similarities stop there. The colon consists of the caecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon is continuous with the rectum. Rectum is connected to the anal canal. Colon cancers can occur at any site while hemorrhoids occur in the anal canal. This article will talk about hemorrhoids and colon cancer in detail, highlighting their clinical features, symptoms, causes, investigation and diagnosis, course of treatment, and also the differences between both.


Colon Cancer

There are special tumor markers which can be used to detect the presence of a colon cancer. Carcinoembryonic antigen is one such investigation. Most of the colon cancers are adenocarcinomas. There are many risk factors for colorectal cancers. Inflammatory bowel diseases lead to cancer due to a high rate of cell division and repair. Genetics play a key role in carcinogenesis because with rapid cell division the chance of cancer gene activation is high. First degree relatives with colon cancers suggest a significantly higher chance of getting colon cancers. There are genes called proto-oncogenes, which result in malignancies if a genetic abnormality transforms them into oncogenes.

What is the difference between Hemorrhoids and Colon Cancer?

Hemorrhoids are not malignant while colon cancer is.

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How To Tell The Difference Between External Hemorrhoids And Cancer

Bright red blood on toilet tissue, stool.But this confusion isnt limited to laypeople.Cancer develops because cells grow out of control.Change in bowel habits or consistency of stool.

Colon cancer and hemorrhoids often present with the same symptoms.without additional testing, the two conditions can be indistinguishable from one another.Colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids present themselves similarly, and both are easier to treat when caught early on.External hemorrhoids are small or large hemorrhoids that protrude from the anus and bleed.External hemorrhoids cause symptoms when a blood clot suddenly forms in one of the veins at the anus opening

External hemorrhoids tend to be the more obvious affliction, manifesting as bulges or.Following are some factors that contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids:Get relief from extra pounds are also related to arthritis, sore backs, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and pregnancy complications.Hemorrhoids and cancer are very different conditions that can cause some of the same symptoms.

Hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins located in the anus and rectum area, and theyre quite common:Hemorrhoids are itching, painful or bleeding masses of swollen tissues and veins located in the anus and rectum.Hemorrhoids are more common than cancer and are the most likely explanation for bleeding or rectal pain.Hemorrhoids are soft purplish veins under the skin.

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Roles Of Radiation Treatment

Difference Between Hemorrhoids and Colon Cancer

The major treatment option of rectal cancer is surgery, often in a combination with radiation treatment and chemotherapy. After the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed on tissue pathology, cancer staging must be additionally performed in order to examine the metastasis of cancer cells to other organs in the body. Imaging tests for cancer staging are CT scan, MRI scan and PET/CT scan. Staging and pathological results determine the most appropriate treatment plan. If rectal cancer has been found in its early stage , surgery as a single treatment might be considered. Nevertheless, if cancerous cells have invaded to the outer membrane or have spread to lymph nodes in the pelvic floor areas, combined treatments of surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy must be collectively given. In the past, radiation treatment was initiated after surgery. However, a number of recent clinical researches review that administration of radiation treatment and chemotherapy prior to surgery can significantly help to reduce the size of the tumors as well as the stage of cancer . This largely helps enhancing chances to surgically remove all cancerous cells while increasing chances to successfully perform colorectal surgery with sphincter-saving technique. In addition, radiation treatment combined with chemotherapy and minimally invasive surgery with sphincter-saving technique results in fewer complications affecting bladder and small intestine located in the pelvic floor area.

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Getting Help For Hemorrhoid Symptoms

You should seek treatment for hemorrhoid symptoms if:

  • You have rectal bleeding for the first time.
  • You have heavy rectal bleeding.
  • You have rectal bleeding that is not responding to home care.
  • You have other hemorrhoid symptoms, such as pain, pressure, itching, and burning, that do not respond to home care after a few days.
  • You have hemorrhoid symptoms along with other symptoms such as fever, weight loss, abdominal pain, or a change in bowel habits.

Hemorrhoids are common, but hemorrhoids symptoms that do not clear up quickly with home care or that keep coming back do need to be evaluated, Hall says. The best place to start is with your primary caregiver. In many cases, a primary caregiver can make the right diagnosis and start you on the best treatment. If you need a diagnostic evaluation by a specialist, you may be sent to a gastroenterologist or a colon and rectal surgeon. If you need any surgical treatment, it should be done by a colon and rectal surgeon.

Knowing the differential diagnosis of hemorrhoid symptoms can help you prevent a minor complaint from becoming a serious problem.

Beware: Is It Rectal Cancer Or Hemorrhoids


Early Detection Can Spot the Difference

During our years of clinical practice at the North American International Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment Centre, we have found that there is often confusion among patients about the difference between hemorrhoids and rectal cancer. This confusion is understandable because the symptoms of hemorrhoids and early rectal cancer are similar.

Since each condition requires a completely different treatment program, we feel it is important that people learn to tell the difference between the two conditions through education, self examination, and a visit to our clinic.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An External Or Thrombosed Hemorrhoid

Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are a painful condition. These occurs when a blood clot develops in a hemorrhoidal blood vessel causing swelling and inflammation.

  • When a blood clot occurs in a hemorrhoid, the hemorrhoid will become even more swollen. This swelling leads to increased pain.
  • The pain is usually worse with bowel movements and may increase with sitting.

A thrombosed external hemorrhoid may resolve on its own however, this condition often needs medical care. Bleeding with a bowel movement is never normal and should prompt a visit to a health-care professional. While hemorrhoids are the most common cause of bleeding with a bowel movement, there may be other reasons for bleeding including inflammatory bowel disease, infection, and tumors.

What Should I Do If I Have Signs And Symptoms Of Colon Cancer Or Hemorrhoids

Is It Hemorrhoids Or Colon Cancer &  How To Tell The ...

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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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.

When Do Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention

Your hemorrhoids can be an embarrassing topic to discuss with anyone, even your doctor. But hemorrhoids are common and affect 5% of adults in the United States every year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Its estimated, in fact, that as many as three in four adults will experience problems with hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.

Though you can find many treatments for hemorrhoids at your local pharmacy, home remedies dont help everyone. At Rivas Digestive Center, located in Hollywood, Florida, our expert gastroenterologist, Dr. John Rivas, wants you to know when its time to get medical help for your hemorrhoids.

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