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Distinguishing between hemorrhoids and more serious conditions

Many New York residents will rely on Internet information to treat an irritating physical condition, but it is important to understand the importance of a proper medical diagnosis in certain situations. Rectal and colon issues, for example, can be mistaken for hemorrhoids due to similarities in symptoms. Unfortunately, ignoring a more serious condition could lead to a delay in treatment, which could also decrease the potential for a good outcome.

Hemorrhoids can involve discomfort in the rectal region, especially with bowel movements or extended periods of sitting. Blood in the stool can occur in connection with hemorrhoids as well. However, blood in the stool could also be an indicator of cancer in the colon or rectum. Although these conditions are not as common as hemorrhoids, a failure to diagnose cancer in its early stages could lead to a poor outcome if a serious issue is ignored. It is wise to avoid taking chances with what may appear to be hemorrhoids, especially if symptoms persist.

It is also helpful to be aware of accompanying symptoms that might indicate a more serious condition. Examples of such symptoms include abdominal pain, changes in one's bowel movements or unexpected weight loss. A combination of these issues is good reason to seek a medical opinion about the possible causes. Followup testing might be scheduled to check for colon cancer or other conditions. An individual who is more than 50 years old might want to schedule periodic screening just to be sure that such a cancer isn't an issue.

An individual who is at risk for colon cancer might seek early screenings to ensure that potential problems are caught early. In some cases, inadequate communication within a physician's office might lead to errors in scheduling screening appointments for colonoscopies or other tests. If miscommunication later results in a missed diagnosis, a patient might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to determine the recourse that may be available.

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