What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins around the anus or the lower rectum. They can form under the skin around the anus or in the lining of the anus and lower rectum.
What are the causes of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused by an increase in pressure in the veins of the rectum. This increased pressure can result from things such as pregnancy, heavy lifting or long periods of sitting. Other factors that contribute to the development of hemorrhoids include chronic constipation, overuse of laxatives, heredity and aging.
Who gets hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids affect both men and women and the incidence of hemorrhoids increases after age 30. Many women will develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy or after childbirth.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
The most common hemorrhoid symptoms are itching, bleeding, pain, swelling and prolapse (hemorrhoid tissue protruding from the anus). Some patients with more severe hemorrhoids may also experience fecal leakage.
Do hemorrhoids increase the risk of colorectal cancer?
No. Hemorrhoids do not increase one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. But since both conditions can produce rectal bleeding as a symptom, it’s important to determine whether cancer may also be present. Because of this fact, it is recommended that an individual should seek medical attention right away if he or she is experiencing any rectal symptoms.
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