Know the Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer


You may be experiencing signs and symptoms that have you wondering if you could have anal cancer.  It is important for you to understand that anal cancer is not the same as bowel cancer. In fact, very few individuals are aware of what anal cancer is.  Most individuals that have it don’t want to have to talk about it. They don’t want to tell their family or friends. Anal cancer, if not caught in the early stages, can be deadly.  

Many experts have said that as many as one in every five-people affected by anal cancer never have any symptoms.  This can make cancer deadlier. This is because, without the signs and symptoms, individuals do not know what it is. Overall, the disease is more likely to affect women than it is to affect men.  However, in recent years, the number of individuals affected with anal cancer has increased. Research shows that the occurrence of anal cancer has gone up over one hundred percent since the end of the 1970s.   

Anal cancer is rare.  However, there are studies that indicate the rates are rising.  There are many that say the rise in cases of anal cancer can be attributed to HPV.   Anal cancer affects the anus. This is the part of your bowl that opens outside of your body away from the rectum.  The anus is about three centimeters.  

Nine out of ten cases of anal cancer are related to HPV.  This is the same virus that is responsible for many cancers in the cervix, vagina, oropharynx, vulva, and penis.  There are different types of HPV. Each one is separated into either high or low-risk category. They are separated into these categories based on the symptoms that each one causes.  HPV is contracted through skin-to-skin contact. Individuals can also contract HPV by engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with an individual that is infected.    

Symptoms of anal cancer can be easy to miss because they sometimes mirror other health problems.  Here are some common signs and symptoms of anal cancer.


The most common symptom of anal cancer is blood in the feces.  Approximately half of all individuals struggling with anal cancer have experienced blood in their feces.


If you notice that you have unusual lumps around your anus, you might want to talk to your doctor.  Lumps located around the anus could be easily confused with hemorrhoids. When individuals have small lumps located around their groin area, this could be an indication of anal cancer.  



Around thirty percent of individuals diagnosed with anal cancer experience pain around their anus. There have been suggestions made that if you experience swelling and redness or soreness around your anus that will not go away, this could be a symptom of anal cancer.  If these symptoms combine with other symptoms or don’t seem to go away, make sure you call your doctor and schedule an appointment as soon as you can. 

Bowel Movements


Have you noticed that you have been having unusual bowel habits lately?  Has it been harder to pass a stool? Have you been experiencing bouts of extreme constipation?  Have you noticed that you continuously feel the urge to pass a stool, but you can’t seem to pass one?  These can be signs of anal cancer. Another sign that you may have anal cancer is difficulty controlling your bowel movements.  

Wrapping it Up

There is available research that shows around one in every three persons with anal cancer has a lump around their anus.  There are others that experience constant itching. Others have noted experiencing a discharge of mucus.  

No matter what symptoms lead you to believe something may be wrong, you should seek medical care immediately.  Your primary doctor should be able to refer you to a specialist if one is needed. There are many factors that can increase your risk for anal cancer and you should ensure that you go over these and your symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible.  



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