- Anal cancer facts*
- What is anal cancer?
- What are the risk factors for anal cancer?
- What are the signs and symptoms of anal cancer?
- How is anal cancer diagnosed?
- What affects the prognosis?
- How is the staging of anal cancer determined?
- What is recurrent anal cancer?
- What is the treatment for anal cancer?
- How does staging affect the treatment of anal cancer?
- What are the treatment options for recurrent anal cancer?
- Where can I find more information about anal cancer?
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Anal Cancer Facts*
*Anal cancer facts medical author: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
- Anal cancer is a disease where cancer cells develop in the tissues of the anus.
- Risk factors include age over 50, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, many sexual partners, receptive anal sex, cigarette smoking, and frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness.
- Signs and symptoms of anal cancer include anal bleeding, pain or pressure in the anal area, anal itching or discharge, lumps near the anus, and a change in bowel habits.
- Diagnostic tests include a history and physical exam, digital rectal exam, anoscopy, proctoscopy, ultrasound, and biopsy.
- The cause(s) of anal cancer are not known, but researchers suggest that HPV infections, a weakened immune system, and/or smoking may participate in causing anal cancer.
- The following affect the prognosis of anal cancer: the size, location, and stage of the tumor; the degree of spread to the lymph nodes; recurrence; and HIV status of the patient.
- There are 5 stages of anal cancer (0 to IV, with IV as the most advanced); chest X-ray and MRI, CT, and PET scans are used to help determine the stage.
- Recurrent anal cancer is anal cancer that has returned after treatments.
- Treatments for anal cancer may include radiation and/or chemotherapy and surgery; some patients may qualify for clinical trials.
- Treatment options vary for patients that have different stages of anal cancer as more advanced stages usually require more aggressive treatments.
- Recurrent anal cancer usually requires several types of aggressive treatments.
- Call 1-800-4-CANCER to get more information about anal cancer from the National Cancer Institute.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2014
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