Colorectal Cancer vs. Hemorrhoids: Important Differences and the Need for Medical Attention
Colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids are two conditions that affect the large intestine or colon. While they can both cause rectal bleeding, they are very different conditions with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. Since one May mistake colorectal cancer for piles and vice versa so it’s very important to call on the doctor.
Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer or colon cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It typically begins as a small growth or polyp on the lining of the colon or rectum, which can eventually develop into cancer if left untreated. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with over 1 million cases diagnosed worldwide each year.
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not fully understood, but there are several risk factors that can increase a person's likelihood of developing the disease. These include a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a diet high in red and processed meats, obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain or cramping, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.
Diagnosis of colorectal cancer typically involves a combination of tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests like CT scans or MRI, and a colonoscopy. Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage and location of the cancer, but may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatments.
Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus that can cause discomfort and bleeding. They are a very common condition, affecting up to 50% of people at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids can be internal, meaning they occur inside the rectum, or external, meaning they occur outside the anus.
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is not fully understood, but they are thought to result from increased pressure in the veins of the rectum or anus. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including straining during bowel movements, sitting for long periods of time, chronic constipation or diarrhea, obesity, and pregnancy. Symptoms of hemorrhoids can include rectal bleeding, itching or irritation around the anus, swelling or lumps around the anus, and pain or discomfort during bowel movements.
Diagnosis of hemorrhoids typically involves a physical exam, during which a doctor may use a gloved finger or an anoscope (a small, lighted tube) to examine the inside of the rectum. Treatment for hemorrhoids may include lifestyle changes, such as eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of water, as well as over-the-counter creams or ointments to relieve symptoms. In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure to shrink or remove the hemorrhoids.
Colorectal cancer and piles or hemorrhoids are two different conditions that can both cause rectal bleeding. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that typically begins as a polyp in the colon or rectum, while hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus. While both conditions can be serious, colorectal cancer is a much more serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you are experiencing rectal bleeding or other symptoms, it is important to speak with a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Dr Sambit Patnaik is a minimal invasive, laser and robotic colorectal surgeon trained in India and abroad who runs Mumbai Piles Laser Clinic located at Chembur , Kurla, Tardeo and Charni Road for laser treatment of piles hemorrhoids anal fissure and anal fistula. Dr Sambit Patnaik practises in Dubai and Mumbai. He is also attached to many premier hospitals in Mumbai