Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center’s patient-focused approach is dedicated to all aspects of your care. If you have symptoms or are concerned about the risk factors, make an appointment to talk with your doctor.
Anal cancer may not cause symptoms, however the first sign some may have is anal bleeding. It is usually minor and might only occur during a bowel movement. Many people assume anal bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids, painful and swollen veins in the anus and rectum that are benign and a common cause for bleeding.
In addition to bleeding, other symptoms of anal cancer can include:
These symptoms are more likely to be caused by benign conditions, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures or anal warts. Nonetheless, over 50% of anal cancer diagnoses are detected after the cancer has progressed beyond its initial site because its symptoms could be explained by the benign causes or because people may feel some embarrassment around getting their condition evaluated. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to have them checked by your doctor.
There are four main types of anal cancer:
Your treatment will depend on the anal cancer type and stage. Learn more about anal cancer treatment.