Home Hemorrhoids Hemorrhoid vs. Tumor: 5 Differences & 7 Diagnostic Tests [Must Know]

Hemorrhoid vs. Tumor: 5 Differences & 7 Diagnostic Tests [Must Know]

The Difference Between a Hemorrhoid and a Tumor
Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g

Hemorrhoids, while causing discomfort and bleeding, are typically not life-threatening and can be managed with various treatments. Tumors, particularly malignant ones, pose a significant health risk as they can metastasize to other parts of the body, causing immediate and often intensive medical intervention.

Hemorrhoids are a common condition and are ‌treatable, whereas cancer, the result of malignant tumors, requires prompt medical attention and can be more challenging to treat. Always seek professional medical advice for both conditions.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between hemorrhoids and tumors, the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options available.

Hemorrhoid vs. Tumor: How to Tell the Difference & Why It Matters?

Identifying Hemorrhoids & Tumors

The rectal area can be affected by hemorrhoids and tumors. The symptoms of both disorders may appear similar. However, it is important to understand that they differ in order to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

We will explore the dissimilarities between hemorrhoids and tumors, compare their symptoms, discuss diagnostic tests to differentiate between them, and emphasize the importance of receiving accurate diagnosis and treatment when dealing with hemorrhoids.

Differences between Hemorrhoids and Tumors

Hemorrhoids and tumors have some similarities but also some key differences. Here is a table that summarizes some of them:

Hemorrhoids Tumors
Anus or rectum swollen Abnormal growths of cells in the anus, rectum, or colon
Caused by increased pressure on the veins, such as during pregnancy, obesity, or chronic constipation Caused by genetic mutations that make cells grow out of control
It may cause itching, burning, pain, bleeding, prolapse, or mucus discharge in the anal or rectal area It may cause tarry stools, blood in the stool, bleeding from the rectum, bowel obstruction, weight loss, anemia, or fatigue
More common than tumors and usually benign Less common than hemorrhoids and usually malignant
Can be felt as lumps near the anus or seen with a mirror Invisible until large or obstructing

Diagnostic Tests for Hemorrhoids and Tumors

The only way to confirm whether a condition is a hemorrhoid, or a tumor is to see a doctor for a diagnosis. A doctor may use various tests to examine the lower digestive tract and rule out other causes of symptoms.

Some standard tests for hemorrhoids and tumors include:

  • Physical exam: A doctor may inspect the anus and rectum for signs of swelling, bleeding, lumps, or polyps. A gloved finger can also be inserted into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities.
  • Anoscopy: A doctor may use a small instrument called an anoscope to look inside the anus and lower rectum for signs of hemorrhoids or tumors.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: A doctor may use a flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope with a light and camera to look inside the rectum and lower colon to see if any hemorrhoids or tumors are inside. They may also take a biopsy (a small tissue sample) for further analysis.
  • Colonoscopy: A doctor may use a long tube with a camera inside the colon to look for hemorrhoids and a colonoscopy inside the entire colon and rectal area to look for hemorrhoids or tumors. Biopsies are also taken for further analysis.
  • Stool test: A doctor may ask for a stool sample to check for blood or other symptoms of infection or inflammation.
  • Blood test: A doctor may check the blood for signs of anemia, infection, or inflammation that may show hemorrhoids or tumors.
  • Imaging tests: A doctor may use X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or ultrasounds to get a detailed picture of the digestive tract and other organs that may be affected by tumors.

Importance of Seeking Medical Attention

If you experience persistent rectal symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention. While hemorrhoids are usually harmless and can often be managed with home remedies, other conditions, such as tumors, require prompt medical intervention. A timely diagnosis is crucial to determining the proper treatment and ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient.

A Tumor Can Be Mistaken For A Hemorrhage

It's easy to mistake a tumor for a hemorrhoid, mainly if it is in the anus or rectum and causes similar symptoms, such as bleeding, pain, or lumps. However, some clues may suggest a tumor rather than a hemorrhoid, such as:

  • The symptoms do not improve with home treatment, such as eating more fiber, taking sitz baths, or applying hemorrhoid creams.
  • The symptoms worsen or cause other symptoms, such as weight loss, fatigue, or bowel obstruction.
  • The person has risk factors for cancer, such as being over 50 years old, having a family history of cancer, or smoking.

It is essential to rule out tumors in suspected hemorrhoids because they can be life-threatening if left untreated. A doctor can perform various tests to differentiate between hemorrhoids and tumors and provide treatment.

External Hemorrhoid or Tumor: Explanation & Comparison

External hemorrhoids are swollen veins that protrude outside the anus. Their tendency to cause pain and irritation increases because they are exposed to friction and pressure. External tumors are abnormal growths of cells that form lumps or polyps near the anus. They may cause bleeding, pain, itching, or discharge.

Explanation of External Hemorrhoids and Tumors

Hemorrhoids and tumors have different causes and characteristics. Here is a table that explains some of them:

External Hemorrhoids External Tumors
Inflammation of veins within the anus or rectum that bleed, hurt, or itch when become irritated and bleed, hurt, or itch when exposed to stool or pressure Growth of abnormal cells near the rectum or anus that may bleed, hurt, itch, or discharge
Constipation, pregnancy, obesity, or straining Genetics leads to uncontrollable cell growth
cause increased pressure on veins. mutations.
Usually benign (not cancerous) and do not spread to other organs Usually malignant (cancerous) and may spread to other organs
It feels like lumps near the anus They may not be felt or seen unless they are large or cause obstruction

Comparison of Symptoms

Symptoms of external hemorrhoids and tumors

External hemorrhoids and tumors can cause similar symptoms, but some differences exist. Here is a table that compares some of them:

External Hemorrhoids External Tumors
Painful itching or burning around the rectum Itching or burning near the rectum entrance
Bleeding from the rectum Bleeding from the rectum
Blood in the stool Blood in the stool
Near the anus, there is a swelling or bump A bump on the anus
Problems with perianal hygiene Problems with perianal hygiene
Thrombosis (blood clots) that cause severe pain and swelling No thrombosis
Symptoms may come and go but are not usually progressive Symptoms may get worse over time and cause fatigue, weight loss, or obstruction of the bowels

Rectal Tumor or Hemorrhoid: Explanation & Comparison

Rectal tumors and hemorrhoids are both conditions that affect the rectum, which is the last part of the colon that connects to the anus. Rectal tumors are abnormally growing cells that may form lumps or polyps in the rectum. It is common for hemorrhoids to bleed, hurt, or itch when irritated by stool or pressure.

Explanation of Rectal Tumors and Hemorrhoids

Rectal tumors and hemorrhoids have different causes and characteristics. The following table explains some of them:

Rectal Tumors Hemorrhoids
Cancerous growths inside the prostate that can bleed, itch, or discharge Swollen rectum veins that bleed, itch, or hurt after exposure to stool or pressure
Genetic mutations cause cells to grow out of control Increased pressure on veins may result from straining, pregnancy, obesity, or chronic constipation.
Spreading cancer that usually is malignant (cancerous) Most benign (no cancer) and do not spread
Unless large or obstructing, not felt or seen It may be felt as lumps inside the rectum or protrude outside the anus

Comparison of Symptoms

Differences between rectal tumors and hemorrhoids.

Rectal tumors and hemorrhoids have similar symptoms but differ in some ways. The following table compares some of them:

Rectal Tumors Hemorrhoids
Bleeding from the rectum Bleeding from the rectum
Blood in the stool Blood in the stool
After having a bowel movement, one feels the need to go to the bathroom The urge to defecate
Pressure or pain in the stomach A burning or itching sensation near the rectum's entrance
Fatigue or weakness A sensation of fullness
The presence of prolonged and unexplained changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea Diarrhea or constipation
Unintended weight loss Problems with perianal hygiene
Nausea Prolapse (protrusion) of hemorrhoids outside the anus
Bowel obstruction Painful and swollen thrombosis (blood clots)

Medical professionals should be consulted to formulate an accurate diagnosis and to determine treatment options based on individual circumstances.


In conclusion, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hemorrhoids or tumors, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. While hemorrhoids are generally harmless and treatable, untreated tumors can be fatal.

A proper diagnosis can differentiate between the two conditions, leading to the right treatment plan. Detection and treatment at an early stage are essential to managing and treating these conditions. So, ‌speak to your doctor today if you are experiencing discomfort or pain. Stay healthy, stay safe.

Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g
Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • What are the complications of hemorrhoids and tumors?

    Complications of hemorrhoids are rare but include anemia, infection, thrombosis, strangulation, and skin tags. Complications of tumors depend on the type and stage of cancer but may include bowel obstruction, bleeding, perforation, fistula, metastasis, and death.

  • How long do hemorrhoids and tumors take to heal?

    The healing time for hemorrhoids and tumors depends on the severity and type of condition and the treatment option. Hemorrhoids may heal within a few days or weeks with home remedies or medications or may require surgery to remove them. Tumors may take months or years to heal with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or other treatments, or may not be curable.

  • What are the best home remedies for hemorrhoids and tumors?

    Home remedies for hemorrhoids include warm baths, cool compresses, topical applications, such as witch hazel or hydrocortisone creams, OTC pain relievers, a high-fiber diet, plenty of water, exercise, avoiding straining or sitting for long periods on the toilet and avoiding smoking or alcohol.

    Home remedies for tumors may include herbal remedies, dietary supplements, acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, or other complementary therapies. However, no evidence exists that these home remedies can cure cancer or replace conventional treatments. Therefore, it is important to talk with a doctor before using any home remedies for tumors.

Back to blog
More Content