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Anal cancer is a cancer which arises from the anus , the distal opening of the gastrointestinal tract. Prevention includes avoiding risk factors and HPV vaccination. Symptoms of anal cancer can include pain or pressure in the anus or rectum, a change in bowel habits, a lump near the anus, rectal bleeding, itching or discharge. Bleeding may be severe. Most anal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas epidermoid carcinomas , that arises near the squamocolumnar junction.
The inner lining of the anal canal is the mucosa. Most anal cancers start from cells in the mucosa. Glands and ducts tubes leading from the glands are found under the mucosa.
The anal canal is a short tube surrounded by muscle at the end of your rectum. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon large intestine. When you have a bowel movement, stool leaves your body from the rectum through the anal canal. As the cancer grows, it may stay in nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.