Slideshows Images Quizzes
font size

Anal Cancer (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are anal cancer statistics?

Anal cancer is far more rare than colorectal cancer. Anal cancer will be found in about 5,700 women and 2,500 men in 2017. It will result in 1,100 deaths in 2017. It is more common today than it was 30 years ago.

In contrast, colorectal cancer is projected to be diagnosed in over 70,000 men and 64,000 women in 2017. It will result in about 50,000 deaths in 2017, far more than anal cancer.

What causes anal cancer?

Anal cancer is most commonly caused by infection of the anal lining tissues by a high-risk type of human papillomavirus such as HPV-16. It is also more common in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, the virus than can lead to AIDS). Cigarette smokers also get more anal cancer than do nonsmokers. Other risk factors for anal cancer usually will be those associated with the likelihood of acquiring HPV infection. Certainly, there are also cases of anal cancer for which no certain cause is found.

What are the risk factors for anal cancer?

Anal cancer risk factors include the following:

  • Age over 50
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Many sexual partners
  • Receptive anal intercourse/anal sex
  • Smoking
  • Conditions that impair the immune system including HIV viral infection and immunosuppressive medicines
  • History of other pelvic cancers caused by HPV infection
  • Recurrent anal irritation with pain and redness
  • Race and gender: Anal cancer is more common in women than men in most ethnic groups. In African Americans, it is more common in men than women.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/28/2017



Get the latest treatment options.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors