Common Diseases That Affect The Rectal Area

rectal diseases

The rectum is almost the end part of the large intestine/colon. The anus is the opening of the rectum through which a person passes stools. Some problems that can affect the anorectal area are:

  1. Anal Cancer
  2. Anal Fissure
  3. Anal Itching
  4. Anal Abscess
  5. Anorectal Fistula
  6. Colorectal Cancer
  7. Fecal Incontinence
  8. Hemorrhoids or Piles
  9. Rectal Prolapse

Anal Cancer

Anal cancer develops in the skin cells around the anus or in the region between the anus and rectum (at the transitional part from the rectum to anus). When cancer forms in the colon, it usually starts in the mucus that is present on the lining of the colon. Such cancers are called, Adeno-Carcinomas.  The type of cancer that develops in the anal region is called Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Symptoms of Anal Cancer:

  1. Bleeding with bowel movements. (Blood can be seen when passing stools).
  2. Pain and itching around the anus
  3. Small lumps around the anus
  4. Mucus discharge from the anus

Anal Fissure

The fissure is a tear. An anal fissure is a tear in the thin moist tissue that lines the inner walls of the anus. These tears may form when passing hard and large stools. When the tear bleeds, streaks of blood can be noticed on the stools passed. In such cases, fissures can be treated with more intake of fiber, water, and liquids. This softens the stools and makes passing them easier and smoother.

Symptoms of Anal Fissure:

  1. Moderate to severe pain when passing stools
  2. Streaks of blood on the stools or if you have the habit of wiping your bottoms, blood may be seen on the toilet paper
  3. If the fissure is near or outside the anus, it may be visible as a crack in the skin.

Anal Itching

This may sound common but some people experience severe itching and the end of scratching their bottoms hard. Typically the itch is located in or around the anus area. Common causes of Anal Itching are skin problems, haemorrhoids or piles, washing the area too often (thereby making it dry) or too little that can result in infections.

Symptoms of Anal Itching include – severe itch, redness, and burning sensation in the anal area. The itching will be more persistent depending on what is causing it.

Anal Abscess

Abscess is formed when gland(s) are filled with pus for various reasons. When the glands around the anus are filled with pus, the condition is called ‘Anal Abscess’. Infection is the major cause of the anal abscess. Abscess are usually very painful. ‘Perianal Abscess’ is the most common type of abscess that looks like a boil and is painful. When abscess is formed, incision and draining the puss is the most common and effective treatment.

Symptoms of Anal Abscess:

  1. Pain, especially when sitting down
  2. Swelling, redness and tenderness
  3. Discharge of pus from the abscess
  4. Pain when passing stools.

Anal Fistula

Anal Fistula is a small channel that forms from the end of the bowel into the skin in or around the anus. Fistulas can form from anal abscess due to infection. After the puss is drained, it can leave a channel behind. Different types of fistula are intestinal fistula, extra-intestinal fistula, external fistula and complex fistula.

Symptoms of anal fistula:

  1. Pain, swelling and discharge of pus from the area
  2. Bleeding in the area
  3. Pain when passing stools.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (also called Bowel Cancer, Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer) is defined as any cancer that affects the colon (large intestine) and the rectum. Cancer in the colon starts in the mucus membrane over the inner lining of the colon. Like most cancers, this can start in the colon and eventually spread to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer:

  1. Constipation or diarrhoea (Changes in bowel habits)
  2. Dark red coloured stools or bright red blood coming out of the rectum.
  3. Fatigue and a feeling of tiredness
  4. Loss of weight
  5. Lump in abdomen or back that may be felt by a doctor

Fecal Incontinence

The inability to control bowel movement is called Fecal Incontinence. This is also called ‘Bowel Incontinence’. Stool from the anus gets out involuntarily, for example when passing gas. The person will have very limited to no control over the passage of stool.  Diarrhoea, constipation, muscle or never damage are common causes of fecal incontinence. At times, this can be caused due to a surgery done to fix fistula, if the sphincter muscles are damaged.

Symptoms of fecal incontinence include:

  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Constipation
  3. Gas and bloating

Haemorrhoids or piles

Haemorrhoids or Piles are formed due to swelling and inflammation of veins in the rectum and anal region. Piles are caused usually due to high pressure on the veins in the region, difficulty in passing stools, constipation, obesity, and sometimes pregnancy. Treatment of piles is very complicated and hence requires highly skilled doctors to perform the surgery. Piles are classified into two categories – internal and external.

Symptoms of piles:

  1. Lump(s) in or around the anus
  2. Bleeding during bowel movement
  3. Moderate to severe pain when sitting
  4. Feeling of constipation etc.

Also read: How to treat piles without surgery

Rectal Prolapse

Prolapse refers to ‘falling out’ or falling off an organ’s actual place. In rectal prolapse, the rectum falls through the anus. There are three different types of rectal prolapse:

  1. The condition when only a portion of rectal lining passes into the anus.
  2. The rectum drops into the anus but doesn’t come out beyond the anal opening.
  3. The rectum can be seen outside the anal opening.

Symptoms of rectal prolapse:

  1. A feeling of fullness in the abdomen area
  2. When the rectum falls outside the anus, it can be seen as a reddish bulge thing sticking out.
  3. Difficulty and discomfort sitting
  4. Pain and rectal bleeding.

About Our Hospital:

The Laser Gastroenterology clinic is Chennai’s one of the best hospitals specializing in Laser treatment for Gastroenterology problems. The clinic specializes in providing piles treatment, Treatment of Anal Fistula, Treatment of Anal Fissure and Treatment of Colorectal Cancers with advanced German technology. Our doctors are one of the best piles treating specialists in chennai. Get an appointment now to get rid of your piles and fissure issues.


Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran