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Anal cancer symptoms

Early detection of anal cancer is common because this cancer develops in the part of the digestive tract that is easy for doctors to see and reach. The symptoms of early anal cancer often cause people to visit their doctor, though some people with anal cancer have no symptoms.

cancer symptoms

Anal cancer symptoms

When present, common symptoms of anal cancer may include:

  • Anal bleeding
  • Persistent or recurring anal itching
  • Persistent or recurring pain in the anal area
  • The feeling of a lump or mass in the anus
  • Change in bowel habits (going to the bathroom more or less frequently) or increased strain during bowel movement
  • A narrowing of the diameter of stool
  • Abnormal discharge from the anus
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin areas

More than half of people diagnosed with anal cancer experience bleeding, which often is the first sign of disease. The symptoms of anal cancer are similar to many benign conditions, including hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulas and anal warts. It’s always important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

Learning about cancer

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It is named for the organ or type of cell in which it starts growing.

Understanding cancer symptoms

These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer. If you notice any cancer signs or symptoms, it's important to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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Call or chat with an Oncology Information Specialist. We're here 24/7.

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