The signs and symptoms of anal cancer can vary from person to person. Some common signs and symptoms to be aware of include:
- Anal bleeding: Blood in the stool or on toilet paper after bowel movements is a common symptom of anal cancer. It may appear as bright red blood or as dark, tarry stools.
- Anal pain or discomfort: Persistent pain or discomfort in the anal area that doesn’t resolve with time or usual treatments may be a symptom of anal cancer. This pain may be dull, sharp, or throbbing in nature.
- Anal itching or irritation: Persistent itching, irritation, or a feeling of fullness in the anal area can be a symptom of anal cancer. Itching may be intermittent or persistent and may not respond to usual remedies.
- Changes in bowel habits: Unexplained changes in bowel movements, such as persistent diarrhea or constipation, or a sense of incomplete bowel evacuation, can be symptoms of anal cancer.
- Changes in anal appearance: A visible lump or mass near the anus, changes in the size or shape of the anus, or an ulcer or sore that does not heal may indicate anal cancer.
- Pelvic pain or discomfort: In advanced stages, anal cancer may cause pelvic pain or discomfort, which can radiate to the lower back or hips.
- Unexplained weight loss: Significant and unexplained weight loss without changes in diet or exercise habits can be a symptom of various cancers, including anal cancer.
It’s important to note that these signs and symptoms can also be caused by other conditions unrelated to cancer. However, if you experience any persistent or concerning symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. They can perform a thorough examination, order diagnostic tests, and determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
Early detection and timely treatment are crucial for better outcomes in anal cancer. If you suspect any signs or symptoms of anal cancer, it’s important to seek medical attention for appropriate evaluation and management.