HealthExpress have teamed up with the charity Beating Bowel Cancer to try and raise awareness, but also to try and get rid of some of the confusion that currently surrounds the two conditions.
We aren't suggesting at all that haemorrhoids is not a condition that needs treating, but when a potentially fatal condition like bowel cancer is being misdiagnosed, there is a real concern. As shown our infographic below, despite their sharing some common symptoms, piles and bowel cancer can still be separated by the symptoms that they do not share, like unexplained weight loss for example.
Are an unwelcome ailment that can lead to severe discomfort and pain for the person experiencing them. Known in the medical world as haemorrhoids (haemorrhoids), this condition can cause soft swellings around the anus, as well as both internal external piles inside and around the edge of the anus.
Also know as colorectal cancer or colon cancer, is a form of cancer that affects the colon – or large bowel – and rectum. This condition can actually cause several symptoms, some of which are commonly associated with piles; the issue here, of course, is that it can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis of a condition that, as a cancer, would ideally be treated effectively from the moment it is discovered.
Just as with the symptoms, both bowel cancer and haemorrhoids share similar risk factors, and things like diet, fitness and family history are strong examples. But it is in the finer details that we can really begin to differentiate the conditions. One of the main differences can be found in the areas of the body affected, or in the areas that feel affected. For example, as mentioned, symptoms of bowel cancer can be mistaken for piles, especially the ones that are focused on the anus; with bowel cancer, though, there is also likely to be a noticeable spread of symptoms, or certain sensations at least, to other parts of the body. Unexplained weight loss, dizziness or tiredness could all be signs of bowel cancer if they are combined with some of the more common symptoms that are associated with haemorrhoids. If you are exhibiting this combination of symptoms then it is absolutely worth a visit to the doctors, even if it's just for peace of mind.
Bowel Cancer has the second highest fatality of all cancer forms in the UK and there are around 41,000 people diagnosed with it each year. It affects both men and women, however men have a slightly higher risk – additionally, around 95% of all cases occur in people who are over the age of 50. Haemorrhoids is far more common, affecting 50% of people at some point in their lifetime; similarly, though, it is also more likely to occur as people get older.
The most effective way to find out if you bowel cancer involves a rectal examination, a screening programme, a colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Of course, all of these stages in the diagnosis process require medical professionals, which is one of the reasons that it is vital that people said aid as soon as they fear that they might need it.
With any illness, the most important thing is always going to be treatment – but without diagnosis you cannot get to this stage. One of the main reasons that HealthExpress have teamed up with Beating Bowel Cancer is to spread awareness and to make sure that people get the help that they need.