Anal Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
General Information About Anal Cancer
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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 stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer, skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like muscles, called sphincter muscles, open and close the anal opening to let stool pass out of the body. The anal canal, the part of the anus between the rectum and the anal opening, is about 1 1/2 inches long.
The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumors in this area are skin tumors, not anal cancer.
Being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect the risk of developing anal cancer.
Risk factors include the following:
Signs of anal cancer include bleeding from the anus or rectum or a lump near the anus.
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These and other symptoms may be caused by anal cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if any of the following:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/20/2013
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