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Cancer symptoms: Top 14 early signs to look out for

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Anal cancer is a “rare” cancer that can start in any part of the anus – the opening at the end of the bowel. Around 1,500 people are diagnosed with it in the UK each year, equivalent to four a day. However, according to Cancer Research UK it has become “more common” over the last 20 years.

The charity says: “There is a larger increase for women than men.”

As would be expected the symptoms affect that area of the body.

And five of these will become noticeable when you go to the toilet.

Cancer Research UK explains: “The most common symptom of anal cancer is bleeding from the back passage (rectal bleeding). You might notice this as blood in your poo.

“Mucus coming from your back passage (discharge) can be a sign of anal cancer.

“You may have difficulty controlling your bowels (faecal incontinence).

“You might also poo more frequently or it might be looser.”

Cancer Research UK lists other symptoms you could experience.

Pain – You might have pain around your anal area.

Together with bleeding, this may be confused with piles.

Sensation of a lump – You might feel the sensation of a lump around your anus.

A sore (ulcer) that doesn’t heal – A symptom of anal cancer can be a sore in or around the anus that doesn’t heal. It might feel painful.

Severe itching – Another symptom of anal cancer can be severe itching (pruritus) in the area around your anus.

A fistula – A fistula means an abnormal connection or path between two areas of the body.

Passing gas or poo from the vagina can be a symptom of a fistula caused by anal cancer.

The charity urges people to see their GP if they have any of these symptoms, but says they could also be caused by other conditions.

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