Presse Santé

Hemorrhoids or colorectal cancer? How to make a difference?

Hemorrhoids and certain types of cancer, including colon cancer and anus cancer, can cause similar symptoms. This can lead to people who have rectal bleeding or enlargement of the anus believing they have cancer.

Hemorrhoids are more common than cancer and are the most likely explanation for rectal bleeding or pain. However, it is impossible for a person to self-diagnose on the basis of symptoms alone, so it is important to talk to a doctor.

How to differentiate between hemorrhoids and cancer.

Hemorrhoids refer to swollen veins inside the rectum and anus. They can get irritated and bleed, hurt or itch. Cancer grows because the cells grow uncontrollably. Anus cancer can cause growth or bump in the rectum or anus, while colon cancer affects the colon and does not cause any bumps or bumps that a person can feel with their hand. It is not always possible to tell the difference between cancer and hemorrhoids.

Symptoms are more likely to be due to hemorrhoids if:

– the person has risk factors for hemorrhoids, such as a pregnancy, constipation, a history of exertion – to go to the toilet or a history of hemorrhoids
– Symptoms are alleviated with home treatment, a higher fiber diet, siege baths or the application of hemorrhoid creams
– the person may feel a bump or bump near the anus or see a swollen vein using a mirror
– symptoms come and go but do not gradually get worse or cause other symptoms, such as weight loss

It is important to talk to a doctor about any changes in your health, as it is much easier to treat cancer in its early stages.

Factors that increase the risk of cancer include

– be over 50 years old
– have a family history of cancer
– smoking

Symptoms of hemorrhoids

Symptoms that indicate the presence of hemorrhoids include

– painful itching or burning near the entrance to the rectum
– pain that gets worse after a saddle
– aignement of the rectum
– blood in the stool

The symptoms of anus cancer are similar, so it is important to ask a doctor if there is any growth or bleeding that is not going away.

Anus cancer is very easy to treat, especially if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

Cancer symptoms

Colon cancer often causes no symptoms in its early stages. This is why regular colon cancer screenings are so important to your health. Here are some symptoms that a person may notice:

– tarry stools
– blood in the stool
– bleeding from the rectum
– the feeling of having to use the toilet, which does not disappear after a saddle
– pressure or pain in the stomach
– fatigue or weakness
– a prolonged and unexplained change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or frequent constipation
– involuntary weight loss
– nausea

The causes of hemorrhoids

Anyone can get hemorrhoids, and the risk tends to increase with age. Hemorrhoids can be internal, which means that the damaged vein is inside the rectum, or external, which means that it is outside the rectum. Often at the entrance. Internal hemorrhoids tend to be painless, while external hemorrhoids can be painful.

A hemorrhoid appears when a vein in the rectum becomes irritated and inflamed. It gets bigger, causing the stool to rub against it. It can be painful.

Hemorrhoids are natural. Here are some risk factors:

– pregnancy, overweight or obesity, because they put increased pressure on the rectum
– have constipation or a low-fiber diet
– try to go to the saddle
– have a sedentary lifestyle

The causes of cancer

Cancer is a complex disease that has no single cause. Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing anus cancer, among others

– have a history of human papillomavirus
– smoking
– suffering from chronic anus injuries
– be over 55 years old

A person is more likely to develop colon cancer if they

– are overweight or obese
– have a family history of colon cancer
– eat lots of fried foods
– smoking
– consume a lot of alcohol

Genetics can also play a role. People with a family history of cancer may be more likely to develop the disease. Age also increases the risk of cancer, and most cancers are uncommon in young people.

Diagnosis of hemorrhoids and cancer

A doctor can usually diagnose hemorrhoids by performing a simple rectal exam and taking a medical history. If he finds an unusual growth that is not a hemorrhoid, he may recommend a biopsy to look for cancer of the anus.

It is more difficult to diagnose colon cancer. Indeed, markers of cancer do not necessarily correlate with the presence or absence of cancer. Therefore, your doctor may also recommend a symptom-based test. For example, he may ask if a person has bleeding but no hemorrhoids or if treating hemorrhoids does not relieve his symptoms. He may perform blood tests 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 sedating. If the doctor finds an outgrowth, he or she may examine it in the lab or recommend a biopsy.


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Tests to diagnose and stage colorectal cancer. (2020).

Zahed, R. (nd). Is it hemorrhoids or colon cancer?

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE INFORMATION GIVEN REPLACE THE CONSULTATION OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.

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