What is Anal Cancer?

Posted On: July 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett , the feathered-hair star of Charlie’s Angels, had a private funeral on 30 June at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles.

Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in late 2006. Anal cancer is a relatively rare cancer that occurs in the anus. The anal canal is a small section, about an inch and a half long, that connects the rectum to the outside of the body.

While there is no screening for anal cancer, most people with anal cancer will be cured. Treatment typically entails surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Doctors may find anal cancer early with a rectal exam. During this test the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the anus to feel for lumps or growths.

People considered at high risk for anal cancer include transplant recipients, HIV-positive people, women who have had cervical cancer or vulvar cancer, and all men who have sex with men.

Before anal penetration (whether with fingers, tongues, toys, dildos or penises), it should be preceded with a discussion of risk and should only be participated between consenting partners. Condoms (male or female) should be used along with a generous amount of lubricant. If there is any form of pain upon penetration, you can relax, breathe, add lube, slow down or stop. It is your body and you need to speak up.

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