While it is possible to have no symptoms of anal cancer, the first sign for many people is bleeding from the anus. There are other signs to watch for, but they may be caused by more common noncancerous conditions, such as anal fissures or hemorrhoids. If you notice something is wrong, it is important to go see your doctor as soon as possible.
Anal Cancer Symptoms
- Rectal Bleeding
Bleeding is usually very light at first, which is why it can easily be confused as a symptom of something else.
- Anal Itching
Itching is often intense and consistent.
- Abnormal Discharge
Discharge can include pus, mucus, or blood.
- Change in Bowel Habits
This can include diarrhea, constipation, narrow stool, or blood in the stool. You should talk to your doctor if these changes last more than a few days.
- Feeling of Fullness
You may feel like you are sitting on something or may even feel a small lump.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean you have anal cancer. However, you should still speak with your doctor to identify the cause of your problems.
If you are found to have anal cancer, catching it early can make a difference in your treatment outcome. Read more about how anal cancer is diagnosed.