Common symptoms of
hemorrhoids may be a sign of other serious health
problems. Colon or rectal cancer and other conditions have many of the same
symptoms as hemorrhoids. Call your doctor if you have symptoms like these:
Stools are black or tarry.
A lump or bulge that is not tender and does not go away develops at the anal opening.
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels of the rectum. The hemorrhoidal veins are located in the lowest area of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes they swell so that the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements. Hemorrhoids are classified into two general categories: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids lie far enough inside the rectum that you can't see or feel them. They don't usually hurt because there are few pain-sensing nerves in the rectum...
Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week
after home treatment.
Pain or swelling is
Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does
not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
inside the anus becomes bigger or more painful.
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes color (such as
from bright red to dark red), or if stools change size, shape, or color (from brown to maroon
or black), be sure to see your doctor.
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. And in most cases, bleeding caused by hemorrhoids should
stop after 2 to 3 days. Continue home treatment to prevent bleeding from
starting again. Call your doctor if bleeding:
Occurs for more than 1 week without
Occurs when there is no
reason to expect it.
If you are older than age 50 or have a family history of
colon cancer, it is a good idea to tell your doctor any time
you have new rectal bleeding, notice blood on your stools, have changes in
bowel habits, or have anal pain. These symptoms may be signs of colon cancer or
other conditions. Your doctor may recommend screening tests to see
if you have a more serious problem. See Exams and Tests.
Who to see
The following professionals can evaluate and treat
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this