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Do I have cancer of the anus?

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd August 2005 03:00 AM

DEAR Doctor,
For two years, I have had itching around my anus. I have never had sex. When I surfed the internet, I began to fear it could be anal cancer because all the symptoms talked about are similar to what I have; swelling, blood on toilet paper and secretion of mucus.

DEAR Doctor,
For two years, I have had itching around my anus. I have never had sex. When I surfed the internet, I began to fear it could be anal cancer because all the symptoms talked about are similar to what I have; swelling, blood on toilet paper and secretion of mucus.

DEAR Doctor,
For two years, I have had itching around my anus. I have never had sex. When I surfed the internet, I began to fear it could be anal cancer because all the symptoms talked about are similar to what I have; swelling, blood on toilet paper and secretion of mucus. I also found out that it was curable depending on the stage. Is it really cancer? What can I do? Where can I get treatment in Uganda? Is it expensive?
Emmanuel.


Dear Emmanuel,
cancer of the anus is a very rare condition, but an itching anus is common.
Some of the causes of an itchy anus are irritation from pinworms, profuse sweating and skin diseases. The skin around the anus may also be irritated by the chemicals in toilet paper, infections like fungus and remnants of foods like spices and coffee.
It is usually a short-lived condition. Even when it lasts for a long time, it can respond to treatment. You can try not putting on tight clothing that make you sweat and use soft, un-perfumed toilet paper or baby wipes. Clean with water for a few days and see whether there is a response.
It is not a sexually transmitted condition.
The other symptoms like blood patches, mucus and swelling may be related, or may not be connected to anal itching. For example, an anal abscess would give you all these conditions, with severe pain.
Haemorrhoids would also give you similar conditions. But all these conditions respond to treatment.
I do not think that it is anal cancer, but consult your doctor.
Dr Paul Semugoma
Semugoma@hotmail.com

Do I have cancer of the anus?

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