Hemorrhoids vs. Colorectal Cancer: Comparing Symptoms

Hemorrhoids are abnormal growths located inside the rectum. They usually appear in men and women at different ages. Some people may have them all their life time, while others get rid of them with time or surgery. There are two types of hemophilia – one type causes bleeding from the legs when they bleed too much; another type causes blood clots in the legs (hemophilia A). Hemorrhoids are not contagious.

Colon cancer is a non-cancerous tumor which develops in the lining of the digestive tract. It affects both men and women equally. Colon cancer occurs most often in older adults, but it can occur at any age. The disease is caused by mutations in certain genes, and there are many different types of colon cancers. Most colorectal cancers start in the large intestine where food passes through your body every day without problems.

However, some types of colon cancer begin in other parts of the digestive system such as the liver or lungs. Other types of colorectal cancers include those that develop after a person has had a procedure to remove part of the stomach (gastric bypass), or those that develop due to changes in diet (diabetes mellitus) or medications taken during pregnancy (preeclampsia).

The symptoms of hemorrhoids vary depending on whether they are acute or chronic. There are many simple treatments for hemorrhoids that rarely cause any side effects. In more serious cases, a patient should consult a doctor and talk about potential treatment options. The symptoms of colon cancer also vary. They include bleeding from the rectum after a bowel movement as well as other symptoms like a loss of appetite, vomiting, pain or swelling in the abdomen and weight loss.


Colorectal cancer patients describe the symptoms of hemorrhoids differently.

Acute hemorrhoids appear when the veins in and around the rectum or the lower part of the digestive system become swollen. They usually cause bleeding, itching or pain. Acute hemorrhoids are usually painful and can be itchy or burning. Other symptoms of acute hemorrhoids include rectal pain, and slight bleeding from the rectum.

When a patient has had hemorrhoids for a long time, but they do not cause any pain or other symptoms, they are known as “internal” hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids appear under the skin around the opening of the rectum (the last part of the digestive system).

Real hemorrhoids, also known as thrombosed hemorrhoids, are swollen veins in and around the rectum or lower part of the digestive system. Other types of hemorrhoids include fissures, which are cracks in the skin around the opening of the rectum, and protruding hemorrhoids, which cause a lump under the skin around the rectum.

Colorectal cancer symptoms

People who have colon cancer can experience different symptoms.

Bloody Stool is the most common side effect of colon cancer. This can include bright red blood or brown blood (mucus) in the stool, or black or tar-like blood. Bleeding from the rectum is a possible symptom of colon cancer.

Diarrhea is another common side effect of colon cancer. This can include loose and watery stools, or diarrhea so severe that it is bloody or contains mucus. Pain or pressure in the abdomen is a symptom of colon cancer. Other symptoms of colon cancer include a loss of appetite, vomiting, tiredness, weight loss, and pain or swelling in the abdomen.

Bloating is another side effect of colon cancer that can sometimes occur. This usually happens when there is excessive gas in the digestive tract.

Stomach aches are another possible symptom of colon cancer.

Possible Other Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Some patients with colon cancer may also experience other symptoms. These can include jaundice, when the skin and the whites of the eyes turn a yellowish color, caused by a build-up of bile in the blood. It can also cause the urine to turn dark and the stool to turn light in color, similar to clay. Jaundice can also make you feel very tired.

Other symptoms of colon cancer include otalgia, which is ear pain, and otorrhea, which is ear discharge. Confusion and dementia, or forgetfulness, can also be symptoms of colon cancer. They may be caused by a build-up of toxins in the blood or by pressure from a tumor or growth on the brain. Some patients with colon cancer may have it for quite some time before any symptoms show up. This is especially true for elderly patients.

Colon cancer can cause blood in the stool, but it can also cause much milder symptoms that may be ignored by the patient.

Undiagnosed Colon Cancer: What are the Causes and Risk Factors?

Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, but if colon cancer is not detected and treated in its early stages, it can be fatal. Common risk factors for developing colon cancer include diet and lifestyle choices. Eating a diet high in red meats, processed meat, and fat can increase your risk of developing colon cancer. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight and to be physically active in order to reduce your risk of colon cancer. In addition, not drinking enough fluids and a sedentary lifestyle can make you more susceptible to developing colon cancer. There are other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing colon cancer. These risk factors include:

• Age and Family History. Colon cancer most commonly occurs in people over the age of 50, and its incidence increases with age. If you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you are at greater risk of developing the disease yourself.

• Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, have a greater risk of developing colon cancer.

• Personal History of Abnormal Colon Polyps. If you have had abdominal scans or colonoscopies that suggest you had abnormal growths in your colon in the past, you are at greater risk of developing colon cancer.

• Diet High in Red Meat. Eating a diet rich in red meat, especially processed meats such as bacon and lunch meats, can increase your risk of developing colon cancer.

There are many misconceptions about certain foods and drinks that might lead you to believe that they cause colon cancer. This is not necessarily the case. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber is beneficial to health in general and can help reduce your risk of colon cancer. In fact, there is no evidence that a diet high in fat, red meat, or alcohol has any effect on increasing your risk of developing colon cancer.

A great deal of research on the causes of colon cancer points to two main factors: obesity and a lack of exercise. If you are overweight or obese, you have a greater chance of developing colon cancer than someone who is at a healthy weight. Physical inactivity also increases your risk.

Sources & references used in this article:

The prevalence of hemorrhoids in adults by S Riss, FA Weiser, K Schwameis, T Riss… – … journal of colorectal …, 2012 – Springer

Immunochemical fecal occult blood test is not suitable for diagnosis of hemorrhoids by H Nakama, N Kamijo, K Fujimori, A Horiuchi… – The American journal of …, 1997 – Elsevier

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons clinical practice guidelines for the management of hemorrhoids by BR Davis, SA Lee-Kong, J Migaly… – Diseases of the Colon …, 2018 – journals.lww.com

Hemorrhoids by A Mounsey, J Halladay, TS Sadiq – American family physician, 2011 – aafp.org

Stapled hemorrhoidopexy is associated with a higher long-term recurrence rate of internal hemorrhoids compared with conventional excisional hemorrhoid surgery by S Jayaraman, PHD Colquhoun… – Diseases of the colon & …, 2007 – Springer

Can early diagnosis of symptomatic colorectal cancer improve the prognosis? by F Gonzalez-Hermoso, J Perez-Palma… – World journal of …, 2004 – Springer