There is no such thing as routine anal cancer. Every patient’s anal cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our anal cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on anal cancer and who reach across medical disciplines (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, gastroenterologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Gastrointestinal Anatomy

Facts About Anal Cancer

The anus is located at the end of the large intestine, below the rectum. Two specialized muscles, called sphincters, help open and close the anal opening to help waste pass from the body.

Anal cancer is rare — much rarer than colon cancer or rectal cancer. Only about 7,200 new cases are diagnosed each year, with the majority of cases occurring in adults with an average age of 60. Treatment for anal cancer can be successful if the disease is caught early.

The primary form of anal cancer in the United States is squamous cell carcinoma, which is caused primarily by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. In fact, about 90 percent of anal cancers occur in patients with anal HPV infection.

Anal Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of anal cancer may not appear until the disease has progressed. Certain growths in and around the anal area such as polyps, skin tags or warts may turn into cancer over time. If you have any of the symptoms below, or any unusual growths, ask your doctor about tests to detect anal cancer.

The following symptoms may indicate the presence of anal cancer:

  • Bleeding from the anus or rectum
  • Pain or pressure in the area around the anus
  • Itching or discharge from the anus
  • A lump near the anus
  • A change in bowel habits

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

The presence of symptoms does not necessarily mean you have anal cancer. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you have received an anal cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to an anal cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 W. 10th Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43210


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