Cancer and hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a condition suffered by millions of individuals irrespective of age. Hemorrhoids are swollen or enlarged veins outside or inside the anal region. When they are inflamed, they cause itching, irritation, pain and bleeding. Apart from being painful, the hemorrhoids can result in social embarrassment for the sufferers. The factors that cause hemorrhoids are pregnancy, alcoholism, smoking, low fiber diet, lack of physical activity, constipation and obesity. Though the symptoms of hemorrhoids are misleading, common symptoms are bleeding, pain, itching and irritation. Rarely many individuals do not experience any kind of symptoms but continue to have chronic hemorrhoidal condition. Most of the common hemorrhoids symptoms are mistaken for being symptoms of some other diseases and vice-versa.

Hemorrhoid and cancer

The commonest symptom of hemorrhoids is bleeding. When you go to a doctor for treatment for rectal bleeding, the doctor would recommend colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is done to confirm hemorrhoids and also to find out if the bleeding is because of serious problems like colon cancer. This is done because many of us assume that bleeding can only be caused by hemorrhoids or Piles.

Colon cancer shows no obvious symptoms in its early stages. After some time the symptoms manifest as rectal bleeding, constipation, fatigue and change in the bowel movement patterns. The fatigue and exhaustion is caused owing to loss of blood. If you are bleeding, do a thorough check up and do not conclude that it is just hemorrhoids unless all the other possibilities are ruled out.

Scientifically, it is not proven that colon cancer and hemorrhoids are related to each other. Hemorrhoids do not definitely indicate colon cancer and hemorrhoids don't carry the risk of becoming cancerous. Colon cancer starts like a small polyp, in the colon lining unlike the hemorrhoids that involve swelling and inflammation of anal veins.

Misleading symptoms

Many of us hate visiting a physician or doctor and rationalize that we do not suffer from any serious illness. We save ourselves from the embarrassment of going to the doctor and assume that the symptoms apparent are symptoms of a minor illness or medical condition.

Most of the people with colon cancer came to the doctor to receive treatment thinking that they suffer from hemorrhoids. The symptoms for anal and colorectal cancer have symptoms that make many believe that they are suffering from a minor condition like hemorrhoids. They conclude that the only condition that causes anal bleeding is hemorrhoids while it could be the early sign of colon cancer. This presumption by people has resulted in many individuals with colon cancer not getting appropriate medical treatment in the initial and curable stages of the disease.

No presumptions

Instead of presuming that you are suffering only from hemorrhoids, you must look for other symptoms of colon cancer. Apart from bleeding, there are many other signs of colon cancer which must be noticed carefully. Pain in the abdominal area, chronic colon problem, diarrhea lasting for a few days, change in bowel movements, anemia, unexplained weight loss and many more are the symptoms of colon cancer. Though all these symptoms indicate colon cancer, sometimes they can also be signs of many other diseases and medical complications.

How to differentiate

Colon cancer or colo-rectal cancer is the cancer formed in the intestines. The lifestyle and eating habits of today contributes to the occurrence of colon cancer in multitudes of people across the globe. Though the exact cause of colon cancer is not known, the incidence of colon cancer have increased in a few years. Treatments suggested for colon cancer are radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Early detection of colon cancer makes it easier for treatment while curing them in advanced stages is near to impossible.

The symptoms of both colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids are similar superficially but noticing them intensely can help you find the difference between the symptoms of both diseases. Rectal bleeding caused because of colorectal cancer will look dark and hardened. Blood that leaks through the anal opening in case of hemorrhoids look red and fresh. A close examination can reveal this difference.

Be alert

Old people aged fifty and above with no history of problems related to bowel movements must be very careful if they bleed while defecating. Bleeding can be a sign of colon, rectal or anal cancer.

With bleeding that is persistent and a family history of colon cancer, you must be very alert. Don't assume that rectal bleeding is related to hemorrhoids since you are more at risk of having colorectal cancer. Consult your physician immediately for advice and proper medication/treatment.

Even though the signs indicate hemorrhoids, it is always better to overcome your discomfort and nervousness and to visit a doctor. A visit to the physician's office can save you from serious consequences, if it is not hemorrhoids but colon cancer in its initial stage.