How can you tell the difference between hemmorhoids and colon cancer? Even though the symptoms are very similar, what are the major differences?

Can be difficult. GREAT question although if we are talking about you it would be very unusual for a 19 yo to have colorectal cancer. The point is it really is almost impossible to know for sure and therefore everyone who has rectal bleeding or a change in bowel habits should see a provider even though the most common cause of both of these is not cancer.
Exam or colonoscopy. Many people present with "piles" and this can actually be the issue or one of many other problems that your doctor can help there are dietary, behavioral, hygiene modifications as well as procedures that can help with these common problems. Both constipation and diarrhea can lead to this condition as well it is best if you consult with a general or colorectal surgeon to help with this matter.
Colonoscopy & biopsy. Hemorrhoids are abnormally enlarged veins at the anus that can flare secondary to constipation, diarrhea, straining, dehydration, pregnancy, being overweight, and several other conditions. Colon cancer would be unusual in an 18 year old; most are detected after age 50. Symptoms may not be present in early cases, but can include blood in stool, obstruction, weight loss, or an abdominal mass.

Related Questions

How does my regular pcp diagnose the difference of having hemmorhoids vs. Something worse like colon cancer?

Physical exam. A visual exam of the area, digital rectal exam as well. If there is uncertainty with their exam then they may make a referral for a colonoscopy. Read more...
Several ways. A good history and physical is a place to start. External and digital rectal exam is important to look for hemorrhoids or other lesions. Some pcps can perform anoscopy or sigmoidoscopy which can be helpful. If a more extensive work up is needed you may be referred to a specialist for colonoscopy. Read more...
Exam or colonoscopy. Many people present with "piles" and this can actually be the issue or one of many other problems that your doctor can help there are dietary, behavioral, hygiene modifications as well as procedures that can help with these common problems. Both constipation and diarrhea can lead to this condition as well it is best if you consult with a general or colorectal surgeon to help with this matter. Read more...