We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Symptoms of Anal Cancer?

By Natalie M. Smith
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bleeding from the anus is one of the most common symptoms of anal cancer. Other symptoms include anal pressure or pain, masses or growths, itching and discharge. Warning signs do not occur in all individuals who have the disease, and signs of anal cancer are also associated with other medical conditions.

Anal cancer is a type of cancer, or malignancy, that begins in the anus and can spread to other areas of the body. Some individuals experience no symptoms at all, and others do not have warning signs until the cancer has advanced past the early stages. Nearly half of anal cancer patients report bleeding as their initial symptom. Blood from the lower structures of the colon, such as the anus, is typically bright red and appears on or in the stool.

Pressure and pain in the anal area are also symptoms of anal cancer. These symptoms might be mild or debilitating, because the anal region has an abundance of nerve endings, making it particularly sensitive. Anal pressure and pain commonly occur in healthy individuals, so they are not always indicative of anal cancer.

Tumor masses and other growths might be symptoms of anal cancer as well. Various types of cancerous or benign tumors can develop in the anus, such as relatively harmless skin tags or serious squamous cell carcinomas. Lumps and other growths might be readily felt or seen in the anal area, but others can remain undetected without a thorough physical examination, biopsy or other diagnostic methods.

Itching and unusual discharges from the anus are also associated with anal cancer. When itching occurs alone or in conjunction with bleeding, it might be the result of another condition, such as hemorrhoids. The same is true of mucus-like anal discharges. Still, both itching and discharges have been reported by individuals who were later diagnosed with anal cancer.

Symptoms of anal cancer might be caused by other conditions, so some individuals might dismiss them, assuming that they have a less serious ailment. Doctors recommend that any person who experiences discomforting or worrisome symptoms should seek professional medical advice. This is especially important for those who are most at risk for anal cancer, such as people age 50 or older, those who have human papillomavirus (HPV), individuals who have had numerous sexual partners and those who have anal sex. Anal cancer, like other cancers, is most treatable the earlier it is caught, so responding to symptoms quickly and appropriately is crucial.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.