Anal cancer takes place due to abnormal growth of some cells in the opening of the anus. As the anal cancer is not so common, so people are not much aware of it. Also some people may have some of the under-mentioned symptoms but also feel embarrassed to talk about it.
Sometimes some people may confuse anal cancer to colorectal cancer. Both are quite different as colorectal cancer attacks the colon and also the whole of rectum. Anal cancer is just at the anal opening.
Though anal cancer is much rare than the colorectal cancer, but recently in last few years, there have been a growth in cases of anal cancer also.
Symptoms of anal cancer
Similar to other cancers, if anal cancer is also detected in its first stage, it becomes easier to treat it. For this it is important to check for the symptoms properly. Some of the symptoms may seem to you something that is very normal but can be a sigh of anal cancer too. Some of the symptoms can be:
- Itchy anus,
- Painful anus,
- Bleeding from the anus,
- Abnormal bowels,
- Abnormal anal discharges,
- Lump felt at the anus opening.
It is still known that that what can exact factors that cause anal cancer. But some of the causes can be smoking, anus infection and also weakening of the immune system. Though anal cancer takes place among adults who are above 60 but these days also there are cases where the anal cancer has attacked men and women below 35 years of age.
Detecting anal cancer at an initial stage
Though these symptoms are the early signs of anal cancer, but many times, many of the patients get confused about the detection part. So, medical studies have come up with some methods of detecting the cancer.
Digital Rectal Exam is a method where the doctor uses his or her finger to check for any kind of abnormality such as lumps in the opening of the anus.
Anoscopy is another method where an anoscope is used to get a view of the inside of anus to check for any kind of abnormalities. This test is mainly conducted after the digital rectal Exam.
Apart from these two main tests, there are also many other tests such as ultrasounds, biopsies, x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans and PET Scans to detect the cancer. But again in regarding these tests, many people spread rumors that these may spread anal cancers to other patients too.