What are the symptoms of anal cancer? Disease that Ana Maria treated


In a revelation on TV Globo’s Fantástico program, Ana Maria Braga shared her battle against anal cancer, highlighting the importance of prevention and vaccination against HPV.

This story not only brought to light a story of personal overcoming, but also highlighted the need to raise awareness about one of the most common and potentially dangerous viruses: the human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV transmission occurs mainly through sexual contact, and can also result in infections that, in persistent cases, lead to the development of various types of cancer, including anal cancer.

Credits: Reproduction/TV Globo

What are the symptoms of anal cancer? Disease that Ana Maria treated

What are the symptoms of anal cancer?

Symptoms include bleeding in the stool, pain during bowel movements, and changes in bowel habits. However, the main cause of anal cancer is linked to HPV infection.

Despite this, other factors, such as risky sexual practices, smoking and pre-existing health conditions, such as HIV, also contribute to the increased likelihood of developing the disease.

Therefore, the appearance of these signs should be a warning to seek medical advice, aiming for an early diagnosis and, consequently, a less invasive treatment with a greater chance of success.

What causes rectal cancer?

Rectal cancer can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer;
  • Diet high in fat and low in fiber;
  • Excessive alcohol consumption;
  • Smoking;
  • Obesity;
  • Sedentary lifestyle;
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease;
  • Advanced age.

Credits: iSTock

Treatment of rectal diseases, hemorrhoid. Proctologist pointing pen rectum pathologies on an anatomical model

Is anal cancer rare?

As a type of tumor that affects both the anal canal and its outer edges, anal cancer is a rare but serious condition.

Data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca) indicate that this cancer represents a small fraction of colorectal tumors, therefore, there is a need for individualized treatments.

How do you know if it’s hemorrhoids or anal cancer?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and rectum. But in anal cancer, the problem is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the rectum.

Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

  • Rectal bleeding;
  • Pain;
  • Itch;
  • Swelling around the anus;
  • Discomfort during bowel movement.

In the case of anal cancer, symptoms may include:

  • Rectal bleeding;
  • Changes in bowel habits (such as persistent diarrhea or constipation);
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Weakness;
  • Unintentional weight loss;
  • Feeling that the intestine is not completely empty after a bowel movement.

Girl getting vaccinated against HPV

Credits: Getty Images

How important is prevention and vaccination?

The HPV vaccine, made available by the Unified Health System (SUS), represents the front line in preventing this and other cancers related to the virus.

Targeted at a diverse audience, including young people, immunosuppressed adults and victims of sexual abuse, this immunization is essential not only to block the virus transmission chain, but also to prevent cancer.

Therefore, complementing vaccination, the conscious use of condoms in all sexual practices appears as an essential strategy to reduce the incidence of HPV.



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