Can hemorrhoids cause cancer?

Can hemorrhoids cause cancer?
8 min read
20 November 2023

Hemorrhoids are a relatively common and easily curable digestive condition. If a patient is certain they have hemorrhoids, they may occasionally be treated with over-the-counter lotions and drugs. Rectal bleeding, a common and worrying sign of (external) hemorrhoids, is another symptom. 

Consult a gastroenterologist at Miot Hospital through the Credihealth website when you notice blood in your stool or other similar symptoms. Continue reading to find out if hemorrhoids are a sign of cancer, more about other malignancies, such as colorectal and anal cancer, and what hemorrhoids symptoms are.

Hemorrhoids: What are they?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels that can develop on the exterior of the anus or inside the rectum. This illness, often known as piles, can be extremely uncomfortable, negatively affecting a patient's quality of life even though it is normally not dangerous. 

Hemorrhoids come in two main varieties:

  • External- Around the anus, piles develop under the skin. Hemorrhoids on the outside can be very uncomfortable.
  • Internal- Hemorrhoids develop internally in the rectum and anus. While internal hemorrhoids can go undetected, rectal bleeding is frequently present.

Many of the risk factors for internal and external hemorrhoids are the same. These consist of:

  • Obesity- The tension and swelling of the blood vessels are effects of being overweight.
  • Straining during a bowel movement- You are more likely to develop hemorrhoids if you strain frequently when going to the bathroom.
  • Too much time spent on the toilet- The tissues around the rectum and anus might become strained from procrastinating too long.
  • Pregnancy- Hemorrhoids often flare up during pregnancy due to the increased pressure in the abdomen.
  • Aged and tissue-weakened- The tissues surrounding the anus and rectum deteriorate with aging.
  • A diet lacking in fiber- Chronic constipation from a diet low in fiber can result in straining.
  • Heavy lifting- If you frequently carry large objects, the added pressure increases your risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Although hemorrhoids frequently go away independently, you should always see a gastroenterologist if you develop rectal bleeding. Painkillers like ibuprofen and over-the-counter lotions are frequently used as treatment options. Sometimes, sitz baths, cold compresses, and wipes can help with hemorrhoids. Rarely, larger external hemorrhoids could require medical attention. Some of these remedies consist of:

  • Rubber band ligation- A band stops the hemorrhoid's blood supply during this treatment.
  • Sclerotherapy- The hemorrhoid would be reduced with an injection.
  • Coagulation- Small internal hemorrhoids can contract and fade when exposed to lasers, infrared light, or heat.

Hemorrhoidectomy, a surgical treatment to eliminate hemorrhoids, is only performed in extremely rare severe hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are associated with a few risk factors. The greatest risk factor for hemorrhoids is a family history, pregnancy, and age.

Hemorrhoids can occasionally be avoided. Avoid straining whenever you have a bowel movement. Additionally, they are advised to avoid hard lifting. Increasing your water intake and adding more fiber to your diet can prevent you from experiencing periodic constipation.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Veins near the rectum and anus that are enlarged are known as hemorrhoids. They may appear beneath the skin close to the anus or rectum. They occasionally disappear after a few days and are mostly not harmful. 

As many as three out of every four adults will experience hemorrhoids at some point. Hemorrhoids can be treated over-the-counter with various medications, most of which work well to ease symptoms. 

Hemorrhoids usually develop when there is pressure in the area, such as by straining during a bowel movement. The exact reason for hemorrhoids is not often known. Pregnant women are more likely to experience them, as are people who spend a lot of time sitting, have chronic constipation or diarrhea, or move heavy objects. 

Hemorrhoids' most typical signs and symptoms are: 

  • Inflammation or itching in the anal region.
  • Stool with bright crimson blood in it.
  • Discomfort or pain, particularly during bowel motions.
  • Uncomfortable or painful bumps close to the anus. 

What does blood in stool signify?

Blood in the stool is thought to be a marker of bowel cancer. However, other conditions can also cause the same symptoms. Visit the top proctology clinic and speak with a specialist if you are concerned about any symptoms that indicate cancer or hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids are typically to blame for blood in the stool, especially if it is fresh, bright red blood. Because hemorrhoids are enlarged veins, these veins are delicate and easily bleed when you urinate.

Blood that has entered the anal canal does not appear bright red; it is dark crimson or black and can cause your feces to resemble tar. This bleeding can indicate more advanced bowel cancer. If you have any bleeding, it is crucial that you visit a doctor to be examined.

Can hemorrhoids cause cancer?

The short answer is no—having hemorrhoids does not cause cancer. Rectal bleeding, however, can indicate several dangerous gastrointestinal conditions, including diverticular disease and colon cancer.

A GI doctor will likely conduct a physical examination and anoscopy. This non-invasive procedure enables the doctor to examine the rectum and anus if you visit them for a diagnosis. Rectal bleeding is one of your symptoms. Therefore, your gastroenterologist will recommend a colonoscopy to rule out anything more serious. Rectal bleeding can result from conditions other than hemorrhoids, colon, anal, and rectal malignancies, such as:

  • Anal fissures
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Esophageal issues
  • Colitis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastrointestinal tract angiodysplasia, or enlarged bleeding vessels, necessitates a trip to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist.

When should I visit a gastroenterologist?

You should see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if rectal bleeding is one of your symptoms so that more serious problems can be checked. You should always schedule a visit to be sure if you experience rectal bleeding, unexplained exhaustion, rectal pain, and unexpected weight loss because these symptoms could be indicators of colorectal cancer.

Always go to the emergency room first if you develop symptoms like fainting, severe rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, or dizziness, especially if you are over 40.

Medical attention is needed if a hemorrhoid is thrombosed. When blood clots, the condition is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which can cause excruciating rectal discomfort, a hard mass around the anus, swelling, and inflammation. If you think you may have a thrombosed hemorrhoid, it's critical to consult your gastroenterologist straight away. The doctor can do hemorrhoidectomy. However, it is best to treat thrombosed hemorrhoids within 72 hours of the time the clot forms.

Although rectal bleeding can make you worry about cancer, hemorrhoids are frequently the most likely reason if you have any suspicions. Hemorrhoids are easily detected and curable; if you have hemorrhoids, you can usually get rid of them by using over-the-counter treatments, sitz baths, cold compresses, and maintaining a clean anal area.

Conclusion-

Hemorrhoids do not cause cancer. However, blood in the stool, toilet paper, or toilet bowl following a bowel movement is often the first sign that someone may have hemorrhoids. 

Without consulting a gastroenterologist who focuses on the study and management of the digestive tract, which includes the colon, rectum, and anus, writing off this problem as hemorrhoids might lead to false confidence. If you observe any symptoms, you should consult a gastroenterologist in Miot Hospital Chennai through the Credihealth website.

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