This type of cancer is so unusual because it occurs in the anal canal.
Sometimes the anal cancer causes no symptoms at all. But bleeding is often the first sign of the illness and it’s usually minor. At first, lots of people assume that the bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids (painful and swollen veins in the anus and rectum that might bleed). They are a benign and fairly mutual cause of rectal bleeding.
Important symptoms of anal cancer are:
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal itching
- Pain or a feeling of fullness in the anal area
- A lump or mass at the anal opening
- Narrowing of stool or other changes in bowel movements
- Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin areas
- Abnormal discharge from the anus
- Pretty often these types of symptoms are more possible to be caused by benign (non-cancer) conditions, such as anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or anal warts. Yet, if you have any of these symptoms, it is very important to have them checked by a specialist in order to find and treat the cause if needed.
These are the factors that have been found to increase the risk of anal cancer:
- Older age.Most of the cases of anal cancer occur in people age 50 and older.
- Anal sex.Persons who engage in anal sex have an increased risk of anal cancer.
- Many sexual partners.Persons who have a lot of sexual partners over their lifetimes have a greater risk of anal cancer.
- Smoking might increase your risk of anal cancer, and any other type of cancer.
- Drugs or conditions that suppress the immune system. Those who take drugs in order to suppress their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs), like people who have received organ transplants, might have an increased risk of anal cancer.
- HIV. The virus that causes AIDS can suppress the immune system and increase the risk of anal cancer.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV).HPV infection can increase the risk of more than a few typesof cancer, such as anal cancer and cervical cancer. It is a sexually transmitted infection that might also cause genital warts.
Anal Cancer Detection in Its Early Stage
If the anal cancer is detected in its early stage, the chances of successfully overcome cancer are much higher. There are plenty of procedures that might be done which can detect cancer and those are:
Endoscopy: The specialist uses a tube with a lens or tiny video camera on the end for examining the inner part of the body. Numerous types of endoscopy might be used to look for the cause of anal symptoms. They can also be used for getting biopsy samples from inside the anal canal. For these tests the person either lies on a side on an examining table, with the knees bent up to the chest, or by bending forward over the table.
Anoscopy: For anoscopy the specialist uses a short, hollow tube (an anoscope)that is 3 -4 inches long and around 1 inch in diameter, and might have a light on the end of it. The specialost coats the anoscope with a bit of lubricant and then gently pushes it into the rectum and anus. By shining a light into this tube, he has a clear view of the lining of the anus and lower rectum. This exam usually is not painful.
Digital Rectal Exam: For all of the abnormalities and lumps, a doctor examines the anal cavity with their fingers on which he has put a lubricated glove.
PET scans, MRIs, x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and biopsies are procedures that are usually used for detecting anal cancer.
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