Some people experience bleeding with bowel movements or notice a lump near their anus and are concerned they are having symptoms of anal cancer. Let's explore the signs and symptoms of anal cancer, and why it's important to get them checked out by your doctor. Anal cancer is the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells lining the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum. It allows waste to pass from the large intestine and outside the body. The anus is often confused with the rectum, which is the last several inches of the lower intestine.
Anal cancer symptoms
Anal cancer - Care at Mayo Clinic - Mayo Clinic
Once it's confirmed that you have anal cancer, your doctor may recommend additional tests to determine whether your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or to other areas of your body. Your doctor uses the information from the procedures to assign your cancer a stage. The stages of anal cancer are indicated using Roman numerals ranging from 0 to IV, with the lowest stages indicating that the cancer is small and confined to the anus. By stage IV, the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body. The cancer staging system continues to evolve and is becoming more complex as doctors improve cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor uses your cancer stage to select the treatments that are right for you. Our caring team of Mayo Clinic experts can help you with your anal cancer-related health concerns Start Here.
Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer
A key goal of treatment is to save the muscles of the anal sphincter so you can control your bowels and stool so your overall quality of life is not affected. Your treatment options depend on many factors. The location, type, and the stage extent of spread of the tumor are important. In choosing your treatment plan, you and your cancer care team will also take into account your age, your overall health, and your personal preferences. Often the best approach combines 2 or more treatments.
Mayo Clinic doctors work as a team to provide compassionate, personalized care for people with anal cancer. At Mayo Clinic, experts in digestive diseases and conditions gastroenterologists form a multidisciplinary team with specialists in radiation oncology, medical oncology, pathology and surgery to provide comprehensive care to those with anal cancer. Other professionals are included as needed.