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The most common symptom of anal cancer is bleeding from your bottom. Other symptoms include pain, a discharge from your bottom, and itchiness. You might feel a lump around your bottom too.
For more information, see our section: Symptoms of anal cancer.
The symptoms of haemorrhoids (piles) and anal cancer can be similar as both can cause bleeding and make your bottom feel itchy. Your doctor can do a simple test to check which you have. Although bleeding from your bottom is more likely to be due to piles, it’s important to check.
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- Anal cancer. BMJ Best Practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last reviewed 3 April 2021
- Anal cancer. Cancer Research UK. cancerresearchuk.org, last reviewed 9 April 2019
- Gastrointestinal tract (lower) cancers – recognition and referral. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk, last revised February 2021
- Anal cancer. Oxford Handbook of Oncology. Oxford Medicine Online. oxfordmedicine.com, published online October 2018
- Anal carcinoma. Patient. patient.info, last edited 28 December 2017
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Patient. patient.info, last edited 12 February 2020
- Geh I, Gollins S, Renehan A, et al. Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland (ACPGBI): Guidelines for the management of cancer of the colon, rectum and anus (2017) – anal cancer. Colorectal Dis 2017; 19(Suppl 1):82–97. doi: 10.1111/codi.13709
- Who can have the HPV vaccine? Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. www.jostrust.org.uk, updated 14 July 2020