Raising Awareness for Rare Cancers – Anal Cancer Awareness Day March 21
March 21 is Anal Cancer Awareness Day. Anal cancer is a rare cancer on the rise. In the EU 9.249 men and women were newly diagnosed with this cancer, in 2020.1
The major risk factor for anal cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV). Other important risk factors include a high lifetime number of sexual partners, HIV infection, autoimmune disorders, and cigarette smoking.
Anal cancer can develop in the cells and tissue lining the internal and external parts of the anus and cause symptoms such as:
1. Bleeding around the anus or blood in the stool
2. Anal discomfort, including itching, pain or pressure
3. Lump or mass at the anal opening
4. Changes in bowel movement, incontinence of stool
5. Swollen lymph nodes around the anal/groin region
Awareness of the risks and symptoms of anal cancer is important as there are no screening guidelines. Patients who think they might be at risk should speak with their health care providers about anal cancer and the HPV vaccine.
Would you like to know more? Please contact us.
1. ECIS – European Cancer Information System
From https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu, accessed on 10/03/2022
© European Union, 2022