Anal cancer symptoms
In its early stages, anal cancer often has no obvious symptoms. However, some people may experience symptoms such as:
- blood or mucus in stools (faeces) or on toilet paper
- itching, discomfort or pain around the anus
- a feeling of fullness, discomfort or pain in the rectum
- a lump near the edge of the anus
- ulcers around the anus
- difficulty controlling bowels.
Not everyone with these symptoms has anal cancer. Other conditions, such as haemorrhoids or tears in the anal canal (anal fissures), can also cause these changes. However, if the symptoms are ongoing, see your general practitioner (GP) for a check-up.
Dr Tiffany Daly, Radiation Oncologist, Radiation Oncology Princess Alexandra Raymond Terrace (ROPART), QLD; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Heather Kavanagh, Colorectal Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Judy Koch, Consumer; A/Prof Craig Lynch, Colorectal Surgeon and Chair, Colorectal Cancer Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr David Millar, Sexual Health Physician, Perth Men’s Health, WA; Julie O’Rourke, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Radiation Oncology, Canberra Hospital, ACT.
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