Main symptoms of anal cancer

Symptoms of anal cancer can include:

Anal cancer may have no symptoms at all, or they might be hard to spot.

Anal cancer symptoms are often similar to piles (haemorrhoids) and anal fissures, which are common and less serious conditions.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you:

  • have symptoms of anal cancer
  • notice a change around your anus that is not normal for you


Having these symptoms does not definitely mean you have anal cancer. But it's important to get them checked by a GP.

This is because if they're caused by cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.

What happens at the GP appointment

The GP will ask you some questions about your health and your symptoms.

They may feel your tummy and insert a gloved finger into your bottom to feel for lumps or anything wrong.

After the GP examines you, they may refer you to see a specialist in hospital if they think more tests are needed.

You'll receive an appointment, usually within 2 weeks, if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.

Page last reviewed: 8 March 2021
Next review due: 8 March 2024