Anal Cancer- Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer

Many people get confused with colorectal cancer and anal cancer. Anal cancer is referred as a lump that is created by the formation of uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells in the anus areas. Anal cancer is rare cancer; it is mainly diagnosed in early 60s. Experts say that anal cancer is more common in women than men and it is closely related to human papilloma virus (HPV). People who have HPV (human papilloma virus) have high risk of developing anal cancer.

What is Anal Cancer?

Anal cancer is a cancer that affects the area that marks the transition between the rectum and anal canal. There are different types of anal cancers and the prognosis of most of them is better if caught in the early stages.

Anal Cancer- Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer

Types of Anal Cancer

Anus has several types of tissues. Each type of tissue also contains several; type of cells and caner can develop in each of these kinds of tissues. Approximately half are squamous cell carcinomas. This type of cancer is found in the surface cells that line the anus and most of the anal canal.  Below discussed are 3 different types of anal cancer.

  • SCCs Squamous cell carcinomas

Most of the anal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). It is caused by an abnormal or uncontrolled growth of squamous cell.

  • Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas are small anal cancers cells which start from cells in the anal glands. This cancer is similar to bowel cancer and is can be treated by same way.

  • Skin cancers

A small group of cells of anal cancers affect the skin, outside the anus, this is called as perianal skin cancer. These types of cancers are treated in the same way, which is used to treat skin cancers.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer?

At times anal cancer has no symptoms at all. But anal bleeding is often the first sign of the disease. Sometimes the bleeding is minor and many people think the bleeding is because of haemorrhoids. But, rectal bleeding is one of the symptoms of anal cancer. Her are few signs and symptoms of anal cancer

  • Rectal itching
  • Rectal bleeding
  • A small lump or mass like substance at the anal opening
  • Narrowing of stool or some changes in the bowel movement.
  • Feeling fullness or pain near anal areas.
  • Swollen lymph nodes seen in the groin and anal regions.
  • Abnormal discharge from the anus
  • Discomfort or pain around the anus
  • Mucus or blood seen in stools
  • Formation of ulcer around the anus
  • Women can have vaginal dryness and lower back pain
  • Bloating
  • Jelly like discharge from the anus
  • Difficulty in controlling your bowels

Everyone with these symptoms does not mean they have anal cancer. Because, there are other medical conditions like anal fissures, anal warts, haemorrhoids also have few similar symptoms. It is very important to see your doctor if you have any of these above symptoms.