Hemorrhoids … Everyone has them!!! They are a normal part of human anatomy & probably serve to help with fecal continence. They are usually not symptomatic & cause no problems.

Hemorrhoids help prevent leakage of gas or stool from the anus or sphincter. They help ensure complete closure of the anal canal by acting as a plug or as a compressible lining. They act very much like valves preventing the flow of gas or stool from the rectum (the organ that stores stool.)

When they become abnormal and symptomatic is when they need to be treated. The exact reason why hemorrhoids become symptomatic is unknown. Common symptoms include:

  • bleeding
  • anal masses
  • itching
  • burning
  • swelling
  • pain or
  • anal seepage/soilage

Hemorrhoids are associated with advanced age, diarrhea/ constipation, pregnancy, pelvic tumors, prolonged sitting and increased pressure in the abdomen.

Management of hemorrhoids can be difficult. There are many alternatives that can be used some of which result is little pain. Symptoms of other diseases can mimic hemorrhoids. Patients should consider consultation with a physician experienced in treating all of these diseases.

Hemorrhoids do not become cancer. However, they cause symptoms that can be like those caused by colon cancer. The only way to prove that symptoms are from hemorrhoids and not from colon cancer is to be evaluated and possibly tested by a physician experienced in both diseases and other diseases that can mimic hemorrhoids.

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