Hemorrhoids? Anal Cancer? Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Anal Cancer And Farrah Fawcett

Since the death of Farrah Fawcett,  many people have become concerned about symptoms that they may have been experiencing and whether or not those symptoms are related to anal cancer.  More important than the words you find on the internet, is the trip to the proctologist, or coloproctologist, also known as a colon and rectal surgeon.  Your proctologist will listen to you, examine you and advise you.

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The Facts.

But let’s set the record straight:

  • More people have hemorrhoids than have anal cancer.
  • More people have anal fissures than have anal cancer
  • More people have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) than have anal cancer.
  • Approximately 7,060 people in the United States were diagnosed with anal cancer in 2013
  • Approximately 50% of American Adults have hemorrhoids.

So, as you can see, you probably do not have anal cancer.  However, if you are concerned, there are some points to understand.

More Facts.  A Lot More Facts.

  • Anal cancer is a highly curable disease using chemotherapy and radiation.  Surgery is rarely needed in the modern era of therapy.
  • Anal cancer can present with rectal bleeding.
  • The bleeding is usually bright red in nature.
  • Due to the moisture at the anus, itching may occur.
  • The bleeding may be intermittent.
  • Bowel movements may be painful.
  • You may be experiencing weight loss or a decreased appetite.
  • Anal cancer can occur in men and women
  • Anal cancer is more common in those who have anal receptive intercourse.
  • Anal Cancer is thought to arise from one of several different strains of HPV (human papilloma virus).  This is the same virus that causes anal warts.
  • The strain of HPV that causes anal cancer is usually different from the strain that causes anal warts.
  • Anal warts do not become malignant.
  • You may have anal cancer and also anal warts.
  • Anal warts, also known as condyloma acuminata, are contagious.
  • Anal cancer is not contagious.
  • The symptoms of hemorrhoids may mimic those of anal cancer, and vice-versa.
  • If you live in a city like Los Angeles, West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, and if that city has a proctologist, you should call for an appointment and have an easy, painless quick evaluation.
  • If you are immunocompromised and have anal cancer, the treatment for the anal cancer may make you even sicker.
  • If you have any concerns about your symptoms, you should see a proctologist immediately.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates

The physicians at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates are board certified and will be able to confidentially speak with you, examine you and start you on the path to treatment for diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.  However, the first responsibility is yours.  Make the appointment to get help. (310)273-2310

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