When experiencing rectal discomfort or bleeding, the mind often races with worry. Two common conditions that can cause these symptoms are hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Despite their similarities in presenting symptoms, they are vastly different in nature, severity, and treatment. Understanding the distinctions between these conditions vis-a-vis Hemorrhoids vs. Colorectal Cancer is crucial for seeking appropriate care and managing your health effectively.


What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum. They can be internal (inside the rectum) or external (under the skin around the anus). Hemorrhoids are very common and often result from increased pressure in the lower rectum due to:


Symptoms of Hemorrhoids:
  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements
  • Itching or irritation in the anal region
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around the anus
  • A lump near the anus, which may be sensitive or painful


What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer, on the other hand, is a malignant tumor that starts in the colon or rectum. It often begins as small, benign clumps of cells called polyps that can develop into cancer over time. While the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not always clear, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing the disease, including:


Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer:
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss


Key Differences: Hemorrhoids vs. Colorectal Cancer

While both hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer can cause rectal bleeding and discomfort, there are key differences:

  • Nature of the Condition: Hemorrhoids are non-cancerous, swollen veins, while colorectal cancer involves malignant tumor growth.
  • Risk Factors: Hemorrhoids are often related to lifestyle factors such as diet and bowel habits, whereas colorectal cancer is influenced by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors.
  • Symptoms Duration and Severity: Hemorrhoids usually cause intermittent symptoms that can be managed with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments. Colorectal cancer symptoms are often more persistent and severe and may include systemic symptoms like weight loss and fatigue.
  • Diagnosis: Hemorrhoids can often be diagnosed through a physical exam and history, while colorectal cancer requires more extensive diagnostic tests like colonoscopy, imaging, and biopsy.



Hemorrhoids vs. Colorectal cancer. Best Diagnostic Centre in Kolkata.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any rectal bleeding, it is essential to consult a Doctor to determine the cause. While hemorrhoids are common and generally not serious, it is crucial to rule out colorectal cancer, especially if you have risk factors or persistent symptoms. Early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer can significantly improve outcomes.

Understanding the differences between hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer is vital for recognizing symptoms and seeking appropriate care. While hemorrhoids are typically benign and manageable, colorectal cancer requires prompt medical attention. If in doubt, always consult your Doctor to ensure the best care for your health and peace of mind.


To consult a Gastroenterologist at Sparsh Diagnostic Centre, call 9830117733.





No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Sparsh Doctor List. Best Diagnostic Centre in Kolkata.


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