Anal Cancer Information

Anal cancer is the presence of malignant cancer tissue in the anus, the opening from which the body excretes solid waste. Most anal cancers affect anal squamous epithelial cells, which are flat cells located along the lining of the anus. Depending on where the cancer is located, it can be categorized as cancer of the anal canal or cancer of the anal margin. The anal canal is the approximately 1 ½ inch area from the end of the large intestine (rectum) to the anal verge (the junction of the anal canal to outer skin). The anal margin is the skin surrounding the anal verge.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been closely linked to anal cancer. In addition to a history of HPV infection, other factors that increase an individual’s risk for anal cancer include:

  • Having a history of cancer in the cervix, vulva, or vagina
  • Living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Receiving anal sex
  • Having many sexual partners
  • Using tobacco products, such as cigarettes
  • Receiving an organ transplant

Tampa General Hospital’s colorectal oncologists specialize in cancers affecting the gastrointestinal tract, including anal cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer. Our multidisciplinary team meets regularly to determine the best course of treatment for each patient and our staff always aims to use minimally invasive treatment methods so as to reduce unnecessary side effects of procedures. We perform transanal surgeries involving tumor removal through the anus and have become nationally recognized for our expertise. Surgeons from across the country visit our facility to learn from our team.

For a physician referral, please call (813) 844-2200 or use our PhysicianFinder tool.