Find out about possible symptoms of anal cancer and when to see your doctor.
The symptoms of anal cancer can be similar to other problems of the anus, such as piles (haemorrhoids) or anal fissures.
The most common symptom is bleeding from the back passage (rectal bleeding). Nearly half of all people diagnosed with anal cancer have had rectal bleeding or blood in their poo (stools).
You might have pain around your anal area. Together with bleeding, this may be confused with piles.
Sensation of a lump
1 in 3 people (30%) feel the sensation of a lump around their anus.
You may experience severe itching (pruritus) in the area around your anus.
Discharge of mucus from your back passage
You may notice discharge of mucus from your back passage.
You may notice you have difficulty controlling your bowels (faecal incontinence).
You may have no symptoms at all. 1 in 5 people (20%) diagnosed with anal cancer don’t have any symptoms.
When to see your doctor
You should see your doctor if you have:
- symptoms that are unusual for you
- symptoms that won't go away
Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it is important to get them checked by a doctor.