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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ANAL CANCER

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While symptoms are more likely to be caused by benign (non-cancer) conditions, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or anal warts, if you experience anal bleeding, it’s important that you have it checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Learn about anal cancer and find information on how we support and care for people with anal cancer before, during, and after treatment.
SymptomsAnal cancer signs and symptoms include:

Bleeding from the anus or rectumPain in the area of the anusA mass or growth in the anal canalAnal itchingRISK FACTORSA risk factor increases your chance of getting a disease. The most common risk factor for anal cancer is being infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV).

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that may also cause warts in and around the anus or genitals in both men and women, but anal cancer can occur without the presence of warts. Other risk factors include:
Age (55 and older)Anal $xx$xxually transmitted diseasesMultiple $xx partnersSmokingHistory of HPV-related cancers, especially cervicalWeakened immune system due to HIV, chemotherapy, or having an organ transplantChronic inflamed areas that cause long-term redness or irritation, such as anal fistulas or open wounds in the anal areaPrior pelvic radiation therapy for rectal, prostate, bladder, or cervical cancer.PREVENTIONAlthough few cancers are totally preventable, avoiding risk factors and getting regular checkups are important. Using condoms may reduce, but not get rid of the risk of HPV infection.
HPV vaccines (for those ages 9 to 26) have been shown to not only lower the risk of HPV infection, but also reduce the risk of anal cancer in men and women. People at increased risk should talk to their physicians about getting an anal cancer screening.

During this test, your physician swabs the anal lining, looking at the cells under a microscope for anything unusual. Other forms of screening include looking closely at the area during a surgery, or in the office with a special scope to look in the anal canal. Early identification and treatment of precancerous areas may help prevent anal cancer.

 

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