Cancer or hemorrhoids?  Learn about the different symptoms

Cancer or hemorrhoids? Learn about the different symptoms

A sudden and persistent change in bowel habits should always be considered a cause for alarm. The condition can be a simple bout of hemorrhoids or indicate colorectal cancer. The two health problems have similar symptoms, although cancer is very concerning.

“The initial symptoms of the two conditions are very similar, with pain and bleeding. If these signs persist, the patient needs a medical evaluation to perform the necessary tests,” explains oncologist Janiara Teixeira de Souza e Silva, who works in Brasilia.

Hemorrhoids are inflammation of the veins in the rectum. The condition is common and tends to improve naturally after a few days. Straining at the time of evacuation and spending a lot of time sitting on the toilet are among the causes of hemorrhoids.

Colorectal or bowel cancer is one of the most common types of tumors in Brazil and affects about 41,000 Brazilians each year. The formation of a tumor in the intestine usually results in changes in the functioning of the organ, for example, alternating diarrhea with bouts of constipation.

Here are the differences between the symptoms of the two health problems:


  • the presence of bright red blood after evacuation;
  • Anal itching.
  • The desire to defecate soon after emptying the bowels;
  • sticky mucus on underwear or toilet paper after cleaning the anus;
  • Ulcers around the anus.
  • Anal pain.
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colorectal cancer

  • blood when defecating
  • persistent desire to evacuate;
  • Abdominal pressure or pain.
  • Constant tiredness and fatigue.
  • prolonged bowel changes, such as frequent diarrhea or constipation;
  • Losing weight for no reason
  • nausea.

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