In this day and age we are faced with the modern-day epidemics of cancer. And not just one type of cancer – but many. So many that most people can’t even number all of them. But some cancers are more difficult to talk about than others. Like in the case of anal cancer, as Providr reports.
As with most things anal, the main risk factor for getting anal cancer is risky sexual intercourse. Especially if it involves someone already infected with the HPV virus – which is an STD that increases the risk of cancer cells forming in your anal cavity. Of course, another risk is getting infected with HIV, but that’s a topic for another day.
But we need to protect ourselves from anal cancer too, so here are the eight early warning signs.
1. Odd pain in the anus
This is a symptom that can often indicate the presence of hemorrhoids. But other times, it can be an early indication of anal cancer. Patients report a gradual increase of pain, it starts mildly, then all the way to a constant, intense pain.
2. Itchy anus
Most of the time, feeling like scratching your butt doesn’t mean you have anal cancer. But if you experience any of the other signs, PLUS this one, maybe you should go see a doctor.
3. Bleeding from the anus
Although most people assume this has to do with hemorrhoids, it can be caused by a form of anal cancer too.
4. Anal discharge
Sure, there are many types of discharge, and after all, the natural function of the anus is to discharge fecal matter! I.e poop. But if the discharge is mucus-like, and wrapped around your stool, then you should talk to your physician immediately.
5. A strange lump on the outer side of the anus
While it can be something harmless, it can be the opposite too. You should monitor this lump, and if it gets bigger and painful, you should pay your doctor a visit immediately.
6. Weird bowel movements
While it doesn’t have to be indicative of anal cancer (because God only knows how many reasons for weird bowel movements there are!) you should be patient and pay attention to this. If it dovetails with other symptoms too, you know what needs to be done.
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.