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Is it Hemorrhoids or is it Colon Cancer?

About 90 percent of colon and rectal cancer patients initially thought they had hemorrhoids because of symptoms such as rectal itching and rectal bleeding. Therefore, the belief that you have hemorrhoids could actually be a symptom of colon cancer. If you are experiencing any new signs of rectal bleeding, no matter what your age, you should consult your doctor immediately, especially if it is a new symptom. Hemorrhoids tend to flare and then go away, so bleeding patterns are more erratic and circumstantial. Constipation will exacerbate rectal bleeding, but you will find that your symptoms will gradually disappear. If you are experiencing constant bleeding, increased bleeding or a combination of pain and bleeding, it may be something more than just hemorrhoids.

90 percent of all new cases of colon cancer are in individuals who are aged 50 and older

If you are experiencing new or increased bleeding from the rectum or pain in the rectal or abdominal area, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, including colon cancer. Pain could be the result of an intestinal obstruction. A colon polyp can block fecal matter as it attempts to pass through the digestive tract. Since cancerous tissue bleeds more than normal tissue, a cancerous mass in the colon could possibly be responsible for abnormal rectal bleeding.

Although people of all ages can develop colon cancer, 90 percent of all new cases of colon cancer are in individuals who are aged 50 and older, and that risk increases as you age. Warning signs of colon cancer are:

  • Excess gas
  • Constipation
  • Blood in the stool (bright red blood or very dark blood)
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Change in the shape of the stool or narrower than normal stool
  • Fatigue and exhaustion