Symptoms of anal cancer
Anal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because the cancer is very small. Symptoms often appear once the tumour grows larger or grows into surrounding tissues. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as anal cancer. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.
The most common, and usually first, symptom of anal cancer is bleeding from the anus. Bleeding is often minor with only a small amount of blood. Sometimes blood can be seen in the stool.
Other symptoms of anal cancer include:
- pain, discomfort or pressure in the anal area
- itching in the anal area
- discharge of mucus from the anus
- lump or swelling near the anus or in the groin
- change in bowel habits such as narrowing of the stool
American Cancer Society. Anal Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003083-pdf.pdf.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Anal Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/anal-cancer.
Cancer Research UK. Symptoms of Anal Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/anal-cancer/about/symptoms-of-anal-cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support. Anal Cancer. 2013: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Anal/Analcancer.aspx.
National Cancer Institute. Anal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Patient Version. 2014: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/anal/Patient/page1/AllPages.
Penn Medicine. Anal Cancer: The Basics. University of Pennsylvania; 2015: http://www.oncolink.org/includes/print_article.cfm?Page=2&id=9497&section=cancer_types.