Anal Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- 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
General Information About Anal Cancer
Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus.
The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer, skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like muscles, called sphincter muscles, open and close the anal opening to let stool pass out of the body. The anal canal, the part of the anus between the rectum and the anal opening, is about 1 1/2 inches long.
The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumors in this area are skin tumors, not anal cancer.
Being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect the risk of developing anal cancer.
Risk factors include the following:
- Being over 50 years old.
- Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Having many sexual partners.
- Having receptive anal intercourse (anal sex).
- Frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness.
- Having anal fistulas (abnormal openings).
- Smoking cigarettes.
Signs of anal cancer include bleeding from the anus or rectum or a lump near the anus.
These and other symptoms may be caused by anal cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if any of the following:
- Bleeding from the anus or rectum.
- Pain or pressure in the area around the anus.
- Itching or discharge from the anus.
- A lump near the anus.
- A change in bowel habits.
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