The embarrassing itch that can be an early sign of deadly cancer revealed | The Sun

HAVING an itchy bum or anus is not only uncomfortable but can also be hugely embarrassing. 

However, it’s very important that you listen to your body as the itch could be a sign of a rare but deadly cancer. 

While anal cancer isn’t one of the most common cancers in the UK – currently affecting only one per cent of the population – it can be deadly if not caught and treated early. 

Anal cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery which could leave the patient needing a stoma bag. 

According to Cancer Research UK, anal cancer is most common in people over the age of 75 and is usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). 

Despite this, anyone can get anal cancer and therefore you must get checked by your GP if you display any of the following symptoms:

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  1. Bleeding from the bottom
  2. Itching or pain around the anus
  3. Small lumps around and inside the bottom
  4. Discharge of mucus from the bottom
  5. Issues controlling your bowel movements
  6. Needing to poo often
  7. Having loose or runnier poos

Last month, an expert warned that anal cancer sufferers often experience symptoms similar to those of piles and haemorrhoids.

Dr Pavel Vitek, a leading radiation oncologist from Proton Therapy Center in Prague said it was imperative that people are aware of anal cancer symtompms. 

He also stressed that people should not let embarrassment prevent them from seeking treatment.

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“Its symptoms can often be mistaken for more common and less serious illnesses such as piles and haemorrhoids, but it should not be taken lightly,” he explained.

“Common red flags include needing to visit the toilet more often with looser, runnier stools and finding blood, itching or pain around the anus”.

He added: “It’s important not to let embarrassment prevent you from seeking treatment as earlier detection often leads to a better health outcome”.

But a new study led by Dr Vitek has shown proton beam therapy can be a really effective treatment, with very high survival rates and reduced side effects for patients.

In fact, the paper showed 92 per cent of those treated had their cancer completely regress (shrink) and there was a very low rate of colostomy too – when the end of the colon is surgically moved to an opening in the tummy.

That opening is called a stoma.

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Dr Vivek added: "This new study gives us cause to be optimistic that proton beam therapy can be considered a kinder and effective treatment option to sufferers of anal cancer compared to some more traditional plans.

“Proton beam therapy allows us to target tumours and leave healthy tissue unaffected, and this often leads to better health outcomes for patients.”

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