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Hemorrhoids are common aliments in both men and women. Since rectal cancer and hemorrhoids share symptoms, it is possible to confuse the two conditions. Knowing what makes rectal cancer different from hemorrhoids can help you correctly treat your condition.
Rectal cancer is the presence of cancer cells or tumors on the last few inches of your colon. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around you anus become swollen and inflamed.
Common signs of rectal cancer include diarrhea, constipation, blood in your stool or when your wipe, weight loss, fatigue and vomiting. You may have hemorrhoids if there is blood, covering your stool or on the toilet paper when you wipe. Sometimes, hemorrhoids cause pain when you have bowel movement.
Treatment of rectal cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Hemorrhoids can often be treated with over-the-counter creams, wipes and suppositories. Surgery may be needed if your hemorrhoids are very bad, but this is not common.
Keep your stools soft by adding fiber and water to your diet. Good sources of dietary fiber include whole grains and fruits. Avoid creating pressure on your rectum by holding in bowel movements, standing for long periods of time, or pushing hard when constipated.
Before a cancer diagnosis is made, your bleeding and itching may be incorrectly associated with hemorrhoids. A diagnosis of cancer after a diagnosis of hemorrhoids does not mean that the hemorrhoids caused the cancer.