Anal cancer symptoms: Feeling this sensation could be a warning sign of the deadly disease

Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer which affects the anus or the end of the bowel. Around 1,300 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year in the UK. Feeling a certain sensation in your anus could be a warning sign. What is it?


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The anus is a tube where feces exit the body and is part of the large bowel.

It’s roughly 3cm long and includes the transitional zone, anal canal and anal margin.

The transitional zone is where the rectum meets the anal canal.

The anal canal connects the rectum to the anus, and the anal margin contains muscles called anal sphincters which control the bowel movements.

Cancerous cells can grow in any of these three areas.

Anal cancer signs and symptoms are listed by Mayo Clinic as: 

Bleeding from the anus or rectum

Pain in the area of the anus

A mass or growth in the anal canal

Anal itching

Experiencing a feeling of fullness in the anus is another warning sign.


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Why would a person feel fullness in their anus due to cancer?

As tumors grow and begin to invade the sphincter muscle, pain and fullness are common signs said Anal Cancer Info.

The site continued: “Often patients experience a sense of fullness and a constant need to evacuate.

“If you are at risk for anal cancer and you begin to develop symptoms, then you should be examined properly.”


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Diagnosing anal cancer

GP will usually ask about your symptoms and carry out some examinations.

The NHS advised: “They may feel your tummy and carry out a rectal examination.

“This involves your doctor inserting a gloved finger into your bottom so they can feel any abnormalities.

“They’ll refer you to hospital if they think further tests are necessary and you should receive an appointment within two weeks if there’s a chance you might have cancer.”

Referral to a hospital may see a person having to undergo a sigmoidoscopy.

This is when a thin, flexible tube with a small camera and light is inserted into your bottom to check for any abnormalities.

Additionally, a biopsy may be taken where a small tissue sample is taken so it can be observed in a laboratory under a microscope.

If you are experience a feeling of fullness in your anal it’s important to carefully monitor any other unusual symptoms and speak to your GP about the possible cause.

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