Anal cancer: 6 symptoms to watch out for

Often misdiagnosed as hemorrhoidal cancer, anal cancer is a rare type of cancer, but no less dangerous! Its symptoms are difficult to discuss due to the lack of discomfort, which makes it difficult to diagnose early. Focus on the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis of anal cancer.
Anal cancer is cancer that develops in the anal canal. It should not be confused with rectal cancer, which affects the inner walls of the rectum and has the same characteristics as colon cancer. We can distinguish between different forms of anal cancer, but the most common is squamous cell carcinoma.

However, anal cancer remains one of the rarest types of cancer, accounting for only about 3% of malignancies in the anus or rectum. Although there has been an increase in cases diagnosed with this type of cancer in recent years.

People at risk for anal cancer and its causes:
Anal cancer generally affects adults over the age of 60 and affects women three times more often than men. Its causes, so far, are still not clear, but scientists point to several factors that may be at the origin of the appearance of this type of cancer, namely:

smoking
weak immune system
Regular irritation in the anus
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In addition, squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of anal cancer, results mainly from infection caused by the papillomavirus (also responsible for the development of cervical cancer) which can be transmitted by direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes, especially during having sex. intercourse. . .

Anal cancer symptoms:
If the symptoms of other types of cancer can go unnoticed, right up to the advanced stages, then the signs of anal cancer are quite obvious and look like this:

pain during defecation
anal itching
anal bleeding
A bump or hard lump appears near the anus
transit disorders
Unusual discharge from the anus
It is very important not to neglect these embarrassing signs and especially not to feel embarrassed to talk about them to your loved ones or your doctor.

Diagnosis of anal cancer in its first stage:
Early detection of all types of cancer, including anal cancer, is an essential step in increasing the chances of a cure. One way to diagnose anal cancer is a digital rectal exam, in which the doctor examines the anal cavity using only his fingers to check for any lumps or abnormalities in this area.

If abnormalities are detected, the patient should perform an anoscopy so that the doctor can observe the anal canal from the inside. This diagnostic method is done by inserting an anoscope, which is a type of tube or endoscope, into the anus.

Other tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of cancer and determine its nature, including a biopsy, CT scan, or MRI.

Development and treatment of anal cancer:
When anal cancer is detected at an early stage, the chances of cure are much greater. In fact, metastases are very rare, as is their recurrence after treatment.

For the treatment of anal cancer, patients resort to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 70% of cases heal after surgical treatment.

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