Anal cancer

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Symptoms of anal cancer

Anal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because the cancer is very small. Symptoms often appear once the tumour grows larger or grows into surrounding tissues. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as anal cancer. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.

The most common, and usually first, symptom of anal cancer is bleeding from the anus. Bleeding is often minor with only a small amount of blood. Sometimes blood can be seen in the stool.

Other symptoms of anal cancer include:

  • pain, discomfort or pressure in the anal area
  • itching in the anal area
  • discharge of mucus from the anus
  • lump or swelling near the anus or in the groin
  • change in bowel habits such as narrowing of the stool

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

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