5 Early Warning Signs Of Anal Cancer That You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed to Talk About

Cancer of the rectum (colorectal) is one of the most common malignant neoplasms. The chances of a favorable outcome are given only by early diagnosis of the disease. However, in addition to the asymptomatic initial stages of the disease, the situation is aggravated by the fact that people are embarrassed to go to the doctor with this problem. The best therapeutic time is lost. Such mistakes should not be made, it is important to consult a doctor at the first sign of any violations.

Why does bowel cancer appear?

  • Stages of the malignant process
  • Alarming symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment methods
  • Prognosis
  • Prevention

Why does bowel cancer appear?

There is no specific cause that can be eliminated to avoid colorectal cancer. It has been established that the risk of developing the disease is increased by smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as several dietary habits:

  • excess in the diet of fats of animal origin, red meat;
  • regular overeating;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • inadequate fiber intake.

Several studies have proven a hereditary predisposition to the development of rectal cancer. It is caused by a congenital mutation of the MLH1 and MSH2 genes.

Prerequisites for the formation of tumors create such pathological conditions as:

  • chronic colitis;
  • immunodeficiencies;
  • cancer of the breast, and genital organs in women;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • diabetes;
  • intoxication with carcinogens;
  • systemic infections in a chronic form;
  • human papilloma virus.

In some cases, benign intestinal neoplasms (especially polyps, and adenomas) undergo malignancy. Usually, cancer develops not for one reason, but with the combined effect of several factors.

Stages of the malignant process

Like most types of cancer, the colorectal form develops gradually. Oncologists distinguish four stages of the disease:

  • I – the tumor is concentrated in the intestine, and does not penetrate the walls of the organ;
  • II – malignant cells germinate all layers of the large intestine and appear in the surrounding tissues. Metastases are absent;
  • III – the neoplasm grows so much that it partially or completely blocks the intestinal lumen. Metastasis occurs in the nearest lymph nodes, and internal organs;
  • IV – the disease stops the work of the intestines. Metastases are detected in the lungs, bone tissue, liver, stomach, other distant organs, and lymph nodes.

At the last stage, sociopathology is not amenable to any therapy. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor at the first signs of the disease, without waiting for its manifestation.

anxiety symptoms

In the early stages, rectal cancer practically does not manifest itself. The clinical picture depends on the localization of the malignant focus and the aggressiveness of its cells. Due to the addition of secondary infections, it is possible to release a small amount of mucus from the anus during bowel movements.

An essential diagnostic sign for colorectal cancer is blood in the stool.

As the altered tissues grow, the clinical picture is supplemented by symptoms such as:

  • irregular stool;
  • severe weakness;
  • constipation alternating with diarrhea;
  • flatulence;
  • tachycardia;
  • discomfort in the abdominal cavity, as well as the anus area;
  • unreasonable weight loss;
  • dyspnea;
  • constant sleepiness;
  • fecal incontinence;
  • bloating;
  • frequent, painful urge to have a bowel movement;
  • blanching of the skin;
  • color change, the structure of feces.

When complications arise in the form of bleeding during the collapse of the tumor, its germination in neighboring internal organs, and blockage of the intestine in the patient is observed:

  • leakage of scarlet blood from the anus;
  • noise in ears;
  • turbidity of urine, the appearance of fecal impurities in it;
  • indomitable vomiting;
  • feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder;
  • the discharge of cloudy feces from the vagina in women indicates the formation of fistulas.

Contrary to popular belief, pain is not a common symptom of early colorectal cancer. There are no nerve endings in it, so pain often appears only when the neoplasm grows, and compresses neighboring organs. The proximity of the bladder, uterus, vagina and prostate gland to a malignant node provokes disturbances in the work of these organs, which distorts the clinical picture. Pain can be given to the coccyx, sacrum, and lumbar region.


An appointment with a doctor begins with a questioning of the patient, taking an anamnesis. Then the doctor conducts a digital examination of the rectum, and vagina in women. This method allows you to determine the size of the tumor, and its germination in the intestinal wall. The technique has a high diagnostic value.
Palpation helps to identify up to 70% of carcinomas.

The patient is sent for an additional examination to clarify the alleged diagnosis. It includes:

  • Evaluation of feces for the presence of occult blood;
  • colonoscopy;
  • transrectal and abdominal ultrasound;
  • MRI;
  • irrigoscopy;
  • CT scan.


Finally, colorectal cancer is confirmed only after a biopsy, and a histological examination of the tumor tissue. The doctor receives information about the localization of the focus of the disease, metastases, and the degree of spread of the disease. Based on the data obtained, he chooses the most effective methods of therapy.

Methods of treatment

A radical method of ridding the patient of colorectal cancer is the removal of the neoplasm. Cutting off part of the rectum violates the functionality of the digestive organs, and significantly reduces the quality of human life.

If it is possible to avoid the negative consequences of surgery, doctors try to apply modern methods of operations:

nerve-sparing interventions – preserve the nerve pathways, the patient has natural signals about the fullness of the organs, and the urge to defecate;

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sphincter-preserving operations – allow you to leave the natural route of removal of feces, and not through the hole in the peritoneum.

When the tumor affects the muscles, it is necessary to remove it along with a fragment of the intestine, surrounding fiber, and lymph nodes. Resection is performed by open or laparoscopic method. Surgeons then create a colostomy to keep the anus functional. It reduces the risk of infection, and inflammation of the sutures, with a favorable prognosis, the colostomy closes a few months after the operation.
Surgical intervention is usually carried out in combination with radiation, and chemotherapy. This helps reduce the risk of cancer recurrence after resection. Before the intervention, it reduces the volume of the malignant focus to operable sizes.


Rectal cancer has a relatively favorable prognosis. Between 50 and 60% of patients who undergo surgery live longer than five years. If the intervention was carried out in the first stage, this figure reaches 80%, in the second – 70%, and the third – less than 50%.
Relapse of the disease significantly worsens the prognosis of survival. It can occur against the background of stress, an infectious disease, and other situations that reduce the level of the body’s immune defenses.


There is no primary prevention for colorectal cancer. To reduce the likelihood of tumor formation, you need:

  • increase stress resistance;
  • to refuse bad habits;
  • exercise daily;
  • minimize contact with toxic substances;
  • sleep well;
  • refuse products with trans fats, smoked meats, or semi-finished products;
  • eat more foods rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamins D, and C;
  • prevent infectious diseases.

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Regular oncological examinations help prevent the recurrence of cancer. It is especially important to have them every six months in the first two years after the end of treatment, and annually thereafter.

Colorectal cancer can be cured without negative consequences for the quality of life if you consult a doctor at the first manifestations of the disease. It is important not to be shy, not to try to be treated with folk methods. This will only aggravate the course of the pathology, and the “golden” time for therapy will be lost.

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