Sometimes anal cancer causes no symptoms at all. But bleeding is often the first sign of the disease. The bleeding is usually minor. At first, most people assume the bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids painful, swollen veins in the anus and rectum that may bleed. They are a benign and fairly common cause of rectal bleeding. Most often these types of symptoms are more likely to be caused by benign non-cancer conditions, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or anal warts. The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy. Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer. Important symptoms of anal cancer include: Rectal bleeding Rectal itching A lump or mass at the anal opening Pain or a feeling of fullness in the anal area Narrowing of stool or other changes in bowel movements Abnormal discharge from the anus Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin areas Most often these types of symptoms are more likely to be caused by benign non-cancer conditions, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or anal warts.
Diagnosing anal cancer
STATS AND FACTS
The anal canal is a short tube surrounded by muscle at the end of your rectum. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon large intestine. When you have a bowel movement, stool leaves your body from the rectum through the anal canal. As the cancer grows, it may stay in nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis. Anal cancer starts in the cells around or just inside the anal opening. A person may be diagnosed with precancerous cells in the anal area. With time, these cells may have a high chance of becoming cancerous. While this condition is treated differently than anal cancer, it is the reason to get treatment early.
Muscles anal sphincters that surround the anal canal relax to allow waste to leave your body. Anal cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that occurs in the anal canal. The anal canal is a short tube at the end of your rectum through which stool leaves your body. Most people with anal cancer are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Though combining anal cancer treatments increases the chance of a cure, the combined treatments also increase the risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor about any signs and symptoms that bother you, especially if you have any factors that increase your risk of anal cancer.
Anal cancer occurs in the anus, which is at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. It is different from and less common than colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the colon or rectum. Anal cancer is rare, but the number of new cases is rising. Of these, 5, will affect females, and 2, will affect males. The ACS expect around 1, people to die from anal cancer, including females and males. Anal cancer is rare before 35 years of age. The average age of diagnosis is when a person is in their early 60s.