Anal cancer emanates from a lump comprising abnormal and uncontrollably growing malignant cells.
It afflicts the opening of the rectum.
It’s not a common kind of cancer, and hence often overlooked.
Moreover, sufferers are embarrassed to talk about the various symptoms they struggle with.
Don’t confuse colorectal cancer with anal cancer.
While colorectal cancer develops in the colon, affecting the entire rectum, anal cancer only develops at the rectum’s opening.
Symptoms of anal cancer
Just like other cancers, early detection is vital.
However, it might prove difficult, since not all the symptoms are present.
You should never ignore nor feel embarrassed about the following symptoms:
- Itching in the anus
- Unusual bowel movement
- Tenderness or Pain in the anus
- Anal bleeding
- A hardened area or Lump near the anus
- Strange discharge from the anus
While scientists are yet to discover the real cause of anal cancer, the most prevalent contributing factors include smoking, compromised immune system, and recurrent anus irritation.
Anal cancer largely affects individuals aged above 60 years.
Discover anal cancer in its initial phase
According to traditional medicine, here are the most efficient methods of detecting anal cancer:
- Digital rectal exam – The doctor examines the anal cavity with his fingers for any existing abnormalities or lumps.
- Anoscopy – Provides a clear view of the inside part of the anus. A tiny tubular instrument known as anoscope is inserted in the anus. It’s done after the doctor detects any abnormalities during the digital rectal exam.
- MRIs, PET scans, x-rays, CT scans, biopsies, and ultrasounds are also utilized in the detection process.
However, some of the methods are controversial as some individuals believe they can propagate the spread of anal cancer.