Colon cancer (bowel cancer or colorectal cancer) and hemorrhoids are two different conditions, but they can produce certain similar symptoms such as blood in the stool. Blood in the stool can be alarming, particularly if you have never experienced it earlier.
Generally, if blood appears in the stool due to straining when having a bowel movement, it is a hemorrhoid. But sometimes, blood in the stool may be an indication of something serious.
Without additional testing and diagnosis, the two conditions can be indistinguishable particularly in the early stages. In fact, about 90% of patients with colon cancer or rectal cancer reported that they initially believed to have hemorrhoids, according to StopColonCancerNow. Even skilled physicians can make a mistake in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer for hemorrhoids. Additional testing is generally required to make an accurate diagnosis and differentiate between them.
Let’s explore a little more about both these conditions and compare the two.
Hemorrhoids develop when the veins around the anus become swollen and inflamed. There are two types of hemorrhoids – internal and external hemorrhoid. Both internal and external hemorrhoids are painful and can cause itching. Common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
Hemorrhoids are a temporary problem for most people. Symptoms may flare up due to strains in bowel movements and then subside.
Colon Cancer is a cancer formed from uncontrolled cell growth in the colon or rectum of the large intestine. It often starts with small, noncancerous polyps that develop on the inner walls of the colon or large intestine. Some of these polyps may grow into malignant cancers over time if not treated on time. Not all polyps develop into cancers. Only about 5% of the polyps develop into malignant cancers but all polyps should be removed to avoid them converting into cancerous tissues.
Common symptoms of colon cancer are:
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