According to the American Cancer Society colon cancer is one of the third leading causes of deaths in the U.S. to date. As with most cancers, there are no real signs that the disease is there until it has reached a higher stage. Not to mention, many Americans look to the internet or the advice of others (non medical professionals) to provide them with a diagnosis.

On paper, colon cancer can often appear to be a bad case of hemorrhoids, which is why it is increasingly important to report unusual changes in your bowel movements to your doctor. Patients are encouraged to take a better safe than sorry approach when it comes to dealing with things as serious as the digestive system and bowel movements.

Staying informed is another method in which patients can use when it pertains to their health. Having a full understanding of what a particular disease or health condition is at its onset can help minimize the potential for misdiagnosis or self-treating for the wrong thing.

Hemorrhoids are common and not a serious condition. Generally speaking, they can be treated at home with over the counter natural hemorrhoids products or with some basic remedies. In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids goes away after a period of time.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include: Itching or irritation near the rectal or anal area, discomfort when making bowel movements, pain or discomfort when sitting for too long, swelling or a lump near the anus, or the sight of blood in the stool.

Warning. One of the symptoms presented for hemorrhoids is also a common indicator of something more….blood found in the stool. If you’re using the restroom and notice that there is blood in the stool, you should not assume that it is a hemorrhoid as it could be something more serious such as colon or rectal cancer.

Colon and rectal cancers are not as common as hemorrhoids. In fact, there is only a 1 in 20 chance that a person will develop either of these cancers. With that being said, it is still cause for alarm if you happened to notice blood in your stool. These cancers can occur near the rectum area which tends to cause discomfort and bleeding which is very similar to the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of colon or rectal cancer might include things like persistent bleeding, change in the bowel movements, pain in the lower abdomen, as well as unexpected changes in weight (weight loss typically the change noticed).

Other common conditions. Blood in the stool, pain, and discomfort near the rectum area unfortunately can range on the scale of severity when it comes to your health. It could be something as simple as hemorrhoids or genital warts, but it could also be something more serious like inflammatory bowel disease, anal fissures, or cancer.

Individuals experience issues as it pertains to the pain, discomfort, or bleeding near their anal region should most certainly reach out to their doctors for further assistance. Whether it turns out to be nothing more than a bad case of hemorrhoids or something more severe it is never a good idea to take a risk with your health. Too often, individuals are self diagnosing and self treating without knowing the underlying cause. While this can provide temporary relief, it goes without saying that there could be more going on than meets the eye. It is always best to get tested and receive the proper diagnosis from a medical professional.