Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

The Difference between Colon Cancer and Ulcerative Colitis

The signs and symptoms of colon cancer and ulcerative colitis often confused by many – often leading one to think that a different disease may be present than actually is. However, if these bowel disorders are properly understood as an individual may be able to recognize that there are clear differences from one or another. Nevertheless, it is still important to undergo diagnostic examinations to determine what specific disease is manifested. Below, are images seen through colonoscopy of a healthy, cancerous colon and ulcerative colitis.

Healthy Colon



Colon Cancer:


Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and yet the most misunderstood. This is because the symptoms are not necessarily present in the initial stage of the disease. Most often, the problem stays undetected until it is in the advanced stage. This common type of cancer is fatal, although it is highly preventable and curable if detected ahead of time.

Ulcerative Colitis

No one really knows the cause of ulcerative colitis, but it is regarded as an autoimmune disease, which the body’s immune system attacks itself. However, the reaction of the immune system is not only on the body, but it is triggered by the proliferation of yeast known as Candida albicans. Although Candida is a normal flora of the gut once it reaches the large intestines it becomes unwanted residents.  The Candida albicans causes severe inflammation of the colon and rectum accompanied by ulcers and open sores.

Colon Cancer vs. Ulcerative Colitis – The Differences and Similarities


Colon Cancer

Ulcerative Colitis


Colon cancer usually starts as a polyp or an abnormal tumor growth on the wall of the colon. This usually grows slowly, takes years before it metastasizes and become apparent.

Ulcerative colitis as mentioned is the body’s immune system reaction to the proliferation of Candida albicans in the colon, which causes inflammation accompanied with ulcers and open sores.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Change in bowel habits either diarrhea and/or constipation. But constipation is more common.

  • Passage hematochezia or melena, depending on where the tumor is located in the colon.

  • Reduction of feces diameter – narrow stools

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Tenesmus

  • Bloated sensation

  • Diarrhea

  • Accompanied by febrile episodes

  • Hematochezia

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Anemia

  • Weight Loss – nutritional imbalance

  • Fatigue

  • Tenesmus

  • Other signs of infection


Acute and gripping in character

Abdominal pain that comes in waves – abdominal cramps


  • Signs and symptoms of both colon cancer and ulcerative colitis may include secondary symptoms, where both diseases may affect a certain individual in different ways.

  • Ulcerative colitis highly increases the risk of colon cancer, hence it is important to diagnose and treat this disorder to prevent the detrimental cancer.

  • Ulcerative colitis is not only confused with colon cancer, but is often confused with Crohn’s disease and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) because of the similarities in manifestations and often becomes difficult to diagnose.

Crohn’s disease – is an inflammatory disease but is usually confined in the small intestines.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – is a functional disorder.

Final Thought

If you or someone you know manifest these signs and symptoms, nothing is better than seeking professional advice from health experts and undergoing diagnostic examinations. Awareness really matters. Having colon cancer doesn’t mean death. Many still manages to survive this dreaded disease. On the other hand, the only way to treat ulcerative colitis is getting rid of the yeast by involving the right diet along with the prescribed medication. Taking care of the body holistically is very essential to prevent the occurrence of bowel disorders. Take care of your body, have a healthy lifestyle and eat the right kind of foods.

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  1. I had ulcerative colitis ,which spread and turned my entire colon cancerous,up to my rectum,i underwent both major and minor surgeries,aprox 45 to date,i had an ileostomy,then colostomy,and finaly reversed,i sufered far too many complicatins im copying however,im sufering with depresion ever since id like to help other patients

    • Your comment was helpful to better understand some of the processes one may need to go through.I hope you are no longer suffering with the side effects and the depression should also go away. Your sharing was very helpful! Thank you!

    • I recently had a colonoscopy and have some erosion in my stomach and the last 20cm of my colon showed signs of Ulcerative Colitis. I am waiting for definitive results to come through a biopsy. I am in excruciating pain and It is very depressing. I hope anyone who goes through this gets counselling and seeks a Doctor immediately if you ever see blood in your stool. It can be other things like Hemorrhoids, Anal Fissure so it’s best to get tested accordingly.
      It’s a debilitating disease and I pray for anyone who is going though it xo

  2. I am very grateful for this article, as it draws together several concerns I have had in the past; symptoms of IBS, a polyp that was found on one of my colonoscopy reports, and also information I didn’t know was related, particularly about Candida. As I have had problems with controlling that in the past due to a true sugar addiction. Now that I understand that connection better, it has just become much more important to me to find ways to change that problem. Thank you!!

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[4]Image Credit: Anatomist90 CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

[5]Image Credit: Anpol42 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

[6]Image Credit: Ed Uthman, MD. - http://web2.airmail.net/uthman/specimens/index.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=840134

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