Symptoms, causes and treatment of Anal Cancer - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Symptoms, causes and treatment of Anal Cancer

January 19, 2011

Anal cancer is a rare cancer of the anus where you find cancer cells in the anus. While cancer in the outside of the anus is predominant in men, women tend to suffer from anal cancer in the inner part of the rectum.

Those whose anus is usually red, swollen and sore and homosexual men who have frequent anal intercourse have a greater chance of suffering from anal cancer. Moreover, anal cancer is usually seen in men above the age of 60.


Genital warts and receptive anal intercourse put you at risk of developing anal cancer.


The common symptoms of anal cancer are pain and discomfort in the anal region, along with bleeding, fecal incontinence, bloating, vaginal dryness, anal itching and mucus or jelly-like discharge from the anus. Some people even have lumps and pain near the anus, another symptom of anal cancer.


It is not exactly known what causes anal cancer; however the following factors are considered to be possible risk factors for the condition.

1. Some types of HPV (Human papilloma virus) are linked to anal cancer which is why 80% of people with anal cancer have HPV infections in the anal region.

2. The more sexual partners you have, the higher is your risk of anal cancer as there is a higher risk of these partners being infected with HPV.

3. Men and women who have repetitive anal intercourse are more likely to develop anal cancer.

4. Men who had suffered from penile cancer, and women who had suffered from vaginal or cervical cancer have a higher risk of developing anal cancer.

5. Older people and those with a weak immune system, HIV/AIDS patients, those who have had transplants and those on immunosuppressant medications are more prone to developing and suffering from anal cancer.

6. Smokers and those suffering from hemorrhoids, fistulae, cicatrices and irritable bowel disease have an increased risk of suffering from anal cancer because of inflammation from benign anal lesions.


Based on the stage and location of the cancer, and the patient’s general health, it is possible to recover from anal cancer. The most common treatment options for anal cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Surgery is the best treatment option only if your anal cancer is in its early stages, and when the cancer location makes it easy to operate. Otherwise, the better treatment option for anal cancer is chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

For More details on treatment of Colorectal cancer contact Call the Houston colorectal surgeons at the Colorectal Surgical Associates today to schedule your colorectal screening today.