What are the risks of getting Anal Cancer?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 28, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus.
  • HPV increase the risk of developing anal cancer.
  • Having multiple sexual partners is another risk factor.
  • Having anal fistulas (abnormal openings) puts you at greater risk.

Anal cancer is a type of cancer in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus. The anus is at the end of the large intestine, below the rectum. It is through anus that stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumours in this area are skin tumours, not anal cancer.


anal cancer risks


Being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect the risk of developing anal cancer. The exact reason behind anal cancer is not known, but a significant research so far has found its connection with HPV and more research is being done to learn how HPV might cause anal cancer. Over the years, it has been found that HPV causes many anal squamous cell carcinomas, however, the role of this virus in causing anal adenocarcinomas is less certain.

The risk factors that increase the risk of anal cancer are as follows.

  • Being over 50 years old
  • Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Having many sexual partners
  • Having receptive anal intercourse (anal sex)
  • Frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness
  • Having anal fistulas (abnormal openings)
  • Smoking cigarettes


(Image source:Gettyimages.in)

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