6. Anal Cancer and HPV
A major pre-existing health condition of anal cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). In fact, most anal cancers can be directly linked to this sexually transmitted disease. Up to 91% of new anal cancer diagnoses per year occur in people diagnosed with HPV.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “It is estimated that about 4,700 new cases of HPV-associated anal cancers are diagnosed in women and about 2,300 are diagnosed in men each year in the United States.”
5. Lack of Public Knowledge About HPV
A study of public awareness about HPV risks published in the journal of JAMA Pediatrics showed that 75% of Americans surveyed weren’t aware of the cancer risks of HPV or that a vaccine was available.
A good source for more information about HPV is an online “fact sheet” provided by the CDC. Part of this information notes that “in most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. When HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.”
4. 3 Anal Cancer Warning Signs
Cases of anal cancer might be rising rapidly because people don’t know of or are ignoring the symptoms. Three common signs of anal cancer to watch for are anal pain, blood in the stool, and rectal bleeding. If you have any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for an evaluation.
Some people mistake rectal bleeding related to anal cancer as harmless bleeding from hemorrhoids. When in doubt, have your doctor take a look. The best way to survive anal cancer is to detect and treat it as early as possible.