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Typical Anal Cancer Symptoms

Anal cancer symptoms often occur in the early stages of the disease. This, combined with the fact that treatments are very effective for early-stage anal cancers, means that you could have more favorable odds for recovery if you are ultimately diagnosed with anal cancer.

Common Symptoms

Commonly experienced anal cancer symptoms include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal itching
  • An abnormal anal discharge
  • Tenderness or pain in the anal area
  • One or more lumps or masses near the opening of the anus
  • Changes in bowel movement shapes
  • Sensations of fullness or frequent urges for bowel movements

Don’t Hesitate to Visit a Physician

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s possible that they are being caused by non-cancerous conditions, such as anal warts or even hemorrhoids. But it’s still important to get examined by a doctor.

Why? Doing so can help your doctor detect issues early and form a proper diagnosis, regardless of the condition. In the case of cancer, early detection could help prevent the growth and spread of a tumor, making any recommended treatments more likely to succeed.

To determine whether or not anal cancer is the cause of your symptoms, your doctor can perform a simple digital rectal exam (DRE) by using a gloved finger to search for odd growths in the anal canal. Other diagnostic tests for anal cancer include ultrasound, anoscopy and proctoscopy. Your doctor may also discuss some of the common causes of anal cancer and see if you're at a higher risk for the condition.

The Team at Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital has a team of specialists who are highly skilled at treating cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, including anal cancer. We are visited by surgeons from across the country to observe our practices. Plus, our affiliation with the University of South Florida and participation in clinical trials means TGH is consistently at the forefront of treatment advances, including minimally invasive surgeries. Additionally, our team of experienced physicians meets biweekly to review each patient and create an individualized treatment plan, which helps us achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients.

For a referral to a physician who can help you determine whether your symptoms are related to anal cancer, please use our Physician Finder tool or call (813) 844-2200.