At West Valley Colon & Rectal Surgery Center, our physicians sometimes hear patients talk about misconceptions they have about hemorrhoids. The condition can be scary when you don’t know what’s going on, and especially so if you are just managing the condition on your own before seeing a colon and rectal physician. As hemorrhoid experts, we want to help patients understand their condition so they are as comfortable as possible with treatment options, and it all starts by clearing up some myths.
1. Myth: They can go away on their own.
Truth: It is not always an easy topic to bring up. It is not everyday that you speak to your friends and loved ones about bleeding, painful lumps near your anus. Unfortunately, this leads to many people believing that the condition will simply fade away over time. While it’s true that over-the-counter pain medications can temporarily ease symptoms, these are not a treatment for the condition – unfortunately, they will come back. And, if patients still experience symptoms after a week, it’s recommended that they should come in to our office for treatment. Hemorrhoids can be a chronic condition if left untreated, so it’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible.
2. Myth: No one else I know has had them.
Truth: Hemorrhoids can occur at any age as a result of straining on the toilet, constipation, obesity, and more. In fact, at least 50% of people experience symptoms by age 50. Further, 75% of people will experience hemorrhoids at least once in their lifetime. Even though people may feel more inclined to keep the condition private, you better believe that it’s a common condition! At West Valley Colon & Rectal Surgery Center, we often treat hemorrhoids using our minimally invasive techniques.
3. Myth: They are a sign of colorectal cancer.
Truth: As a society, we are taught to examine our bodies for any unusual lumps and bumps, as they may be a sign of cancer. Since we as a society have become more educated about the causes and early signs of cancer, we have seen cancer prevalence go down. Fortunately, even though hemorrhoids cause a lump near the anus, the condition is not a sign a cancer. Rather than a tumor, the lump is caused by swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. Colorectal cancer actually does not present any symptoms right away, so it is important to come in for colonoscopies to screen for cancer before symptoms present themselves, as that is usually in the later stages of cancer.
If you have any questions or wish to make an appointment, please call our office at (623) 875-7330. Thank you again for visiting our weekly blog. In future weeks, you can expect patient education, colon, and rectal educational information, and lifestyle blogs, so check back soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.