Anal Cancer

Overview of Anal Cancer

Some cancers are more common than others. Lung, breast, and skin cancer are some of the common cancers that affect individuals all around the globe. Uncommon cancers occur in an unusual part of the body that is not usually assumed to be affected by such diseases.

Anal cancer (مقعد کا کینسر)  is one of the uncommon types of cancers that occur in the anal canal. This canal is responsible for defecation (elimination of stools from the body).

Anal cancer is very rare but can metastasize to other parts of the body. 

Anal cancer starts in the cells around or inside the anal opening. These cells may be benign at the beginning with a high chance of becoming cancerous.

Prevalence of Anal Cancer

Anal cancer affects 75 percent of women and 25 percent of men. It affects one in 500 people but this number is steadily growing.

Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer

Anal cancer may not present with immediate symptoms. It can be caused due to prolonged haemorrhoids. Following symptoms are most common in anal cancer:

  • Anus bleeding
  • Anal pain
  • Swollen lymph glands in the anal area
  • Narrowing of stools
  • Mass or growth in the anal opening
  • Anal itching

Types of Anal Cancer

Causes of Anal Cancer

Anal cancer can occur due to a genetic mutation or due to prolonged haemorrhoids. HPV can be a cause of the majority of anal cancers.


Risk Factors of Anal Cancer

Risk factors of anal cancer include:

  • Older age
  • Anal sex
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Smoking
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Immunosuppressants
  • History of cancer
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Chronic inflammation

Possible Health Complications 

The possible complications may include:

  • Cancer returning again in the colon
  • Blockage of the colon causing bowel obstruction
  • Cancer spreading to other tissues and organs (metastasis)
  • Developing of a second primary colorectal cancer



There are a few changes that you can add to your daily life to lower the risk of anal cancer.

  • Screening:  To look for cancer signs before they get worse, screening is done. These tests can find anal cancers earlier when treatments are more likely to be successful.
  • Fiber-Rich Diet: Diets that include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of anal and rectal cancers. Refrain from consuming red meat (beef and lamb) and processed food as they increase the risk of anal cancer.
  • Regular Exercise: If you are not physically active, you have more chances of getting anal cancer. Being more active can prevent you from this cancer.
  • Healthy Weight: Keep yourself fit by reducing weight if you’re obese. Being obese increases the risk of getting anal cancers. Maintain a healthy weight to prevent the risks.


Anal cancers are diagnosed at an early stage due to their location. A rectal exam or colonoscopy can help in the diagnosis of anal cancer. Digital rectal exams may also be conducted.

A visual examination and an ultrasound of the anal canal are helpful in the diagnosis.

Treatment of Anal Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

The treatment method includes surgery and chemotherapy.

  • Surgery

Surgery is done to remove early-stage cancers. The tumour and some of the healthy mass is removed.

  • Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment is done individually and in combination as well. Chemotherapy uses drugs injected in the vein to kill cancer cells while radiotherapy uses high-powered beams to target cancer.

Anal cancers are treatable and nothing to be ashamed of. Like any cancer, they go from benign to malignant. It is essential to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.