Anal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the anus, which is the opening at the end of the rectum. Anal cancer is not common and is often curable. But like other cancers, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
What causes it?
Some problems can lead to anal cancer, such as HPV infection and anal warts. Other things that can increase the risk for anal cancer include having many sex partners, receiving anal intercourse, being infected with HIV, and smoking cigarettes.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of anal cancer include bleeding from the anus, itching or discharge from the anus, a lump near the anus, and redness, swelling, or pain in the area of the anus.
How is it diagnosed?
To diagnose anal cancer, a doctor will examine the anus and rectum. A digital rectal examination is often done. If anal cancer is suspected, the doctor will do a biopsy.
To see if the cancer has spread, the doctor may do tests, such as a:
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