Symptoms of anal cancer include bleeding, pain, discomfort, itching, discharge from the anus, or a lump near the anus. Sometimes people confuse the general symptoms of anal cancer with symptoms from hemorrhoids, and the correct diagnosis is often delayed.
Causes and Risk Factors
Less than 1.5% of cancers in the intestines are anal cancer. However, some common conditions increase the risk of developing anal cancer:
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) - A common STD (sexually transmitted infection), HPV can cause anal warts, small raised growths around the anus or genitals. Exposure to HPV increases the risk of developing anal cancer.
Weakened immune system - Individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or those who take immunosuppressant medications (such as kidney transplant recipients) are more likely to develop anal cancer.