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Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus. 

The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which solid waste leaves the body.

The anus is formed partly from the outer skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. The anal canal, the part of the anus between the rectum and the anal opening is about 3.8cm long.

Risk factors for anal cancer include the following:
  • Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Having anal fistulas (abnormal openings).
  • Frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness.
  • Having many sexual partners.
  • Having receptive anal intercourse (anal sex).
  • Being over 50 years old.
  • Smoking cigarettes.


Possible signs of anal cancer include the following:

  • bleeding from the anus or rectum
  • a lump near the anus. 
  • bleeding from the anus or rectum.
  • itching or discharge from the anus
  • a change in bowel habits