At the OSUCCC – James, cancer research experts focus on studying anal cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in learning more about what causes anal cancer — leading to even more highly targeted prevention, care and treatment.

Screening for Anal Cancer

Cancer screening exams can help find anal cancer at its earliest stage when the chances for successful treatment, optimal outcomes and fewer side effects are greatest. These tests are usually done when a patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Not only are expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James continually working to detect and diagnose anal cancer early, but they are also developing additional tests to detect and diagnose cancer even earlier, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

Anal Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of developing anal cancer.

The most prominent risk factor for anal cancer is infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). About 90 percent of the cases of anal cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma, are found in patients with anal HPV infection.

HPV is the same virus that puts women at risk for cervical cancer. The virus is passed person to person by contact with an infected area of the skin and can spread from one part of the body to another.

Getting vaccinated against HPV at a young age may help prevent anal cancer. Vaccines for HPV are available for boys and young men starting at ages 11 or 12.

Learn more about HPV and the vaccine from the National Cancer Institute

Other risk factors for anal cancer include:

  • Having many sexual partners
  • Having receptive anal intercourse
  • Being older than 50 years
  • Frequent anal redness, swelling and soreness
  • Having anal fistulas, which are abnormal openings
  • Using tobacco

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Not everyone with risk factors will get anal cancer. But having certain factors appears to increase your risk of developing the disease. If you are at high risk for anal cancer, talk to your doctor about tests to find out if you have early signs of the disease.

If you have received an anal cancer diagnosis, or if you need 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 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210