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Hemorrhoids (cont.)

Exams and Tests

A doctor can evaluate symptoms of hemorrhoids to rule out other, more serious problems. A number of conditions that affect the anus and colon (large intestine) can cause bleeding, mucus drainage, itching, and discomfort. Most people who have these symptoms think they have hemorrhoids, but often they do not.

If hemorrhoids are present, the doctor will evaluate their location and size and develop a treatment plan based on the hemorrhoids' degree of severityClick here to see an illustration..

The diagnosis of hemorrhoids is based on a medical history and physical exam. A digital rectal exam and an anoscopy may be the only tests needed at first. Your doctor will decide which tests to use. If hemorrhoids are the obvious cause of rectal bleeding, you are younger than age 50, and you do not have risk factors for colon cancer, you may not need more tests.

To make sure nothing else (like colon cancer) is causing your symptoms, you may need other tests, such as:

These tests are not used routinely to diagnose hemorrhoids.

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