Hemorrhoids And Colon Cancer

Myth And Fact

Hemorrhoids And Colon CancerHow often does a busy proctologist (a colon and rectal surgeon) hear: “Can my hemorrhoids turn into colon cancer?”  Or, this one: “I see blood in my stool.  Have my hemorrhoids become malignant?”   Perhaps these questions are asked out of fear, and perhaps from misunderstanding.  Perhaps the stress of big city life in areas like Los Angeles or Beverly Hills leads to the inevitable questions regarding stress and disease, which then causes concerns about cancer, bleeding and hemorrhoids.   Whatever the cause, it is best to separate myth from fact.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are nothing more than a collection of normal body tissues, in this case, veins, arteries, nerves and connective tissue.  These all come together at our early stage of fetal development and coalesce into our normal hemorrhoidal anal cushions.  They serve to cushion the stool as it passes through the anal canal.  When, for whatever reason, these cushions enlarge, they can cause symptoms.  Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Discharge
  • Itching
  • Prolapse (protrusion)
  • Many other annoying symptoms

It is the first two symptoms that can frighten patients.  The fear of cancer seems to always lurk in the background.

What is Colon Cancer and What is Rectal Cancer?  What Is Anal Cancer?

Cancer of the colon, rectum or anus are conditions in which the normal tissues lining these areas begins to grow uncontrollably, and causes symptoms, which alerts patients that something is amiss.  Look at the symptoms that can result from these cancers:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Discharge
  • Itching
  • Prolapse (protrusion)
  • Many other annoying symptoms

Look familiar?  These are the same symptoms as in hemorrhoidal disease.  Hence…fear.  And the fear is understandable.

Here Is The Fact:

Cancer NEVER begins as a hemorrhoid.

Here Is The Problem:

Both diseases can bleed, and cause other symptoms, and both the patient and the physician cannot be sure as to the cause.

Here Is The Answer:

Get screened.  See a specialist who can evaluate you and examine you.  There is a good chance that you will need a colonoscopy or some other evaluation of your colon, rectum and anus.  But, whether you have a colonoscopy in a large hospital such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, or in a surgical center, the colonoscopy is usually covered by insurance such as Medicare, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, United Health Care, Blue Shield, Health Net and most other health plans.  This is especially true now under the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates

The surgeons at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates are board certified and available to answer your questions and help you through your fears or concerns.  The only thing standing between you and an evaluation and screening is…you.  You must take the first step.

The screening is safe, relatively quick and life saving.

Now that you can separate myth from fact, there is no time like the present to get started and put your mind at ease.  Call (310)273-2310 for an appointment.