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Cancer, the name itself sends chills down the spine! But every time we hear someone has cancer, though we feel sorry for them, we never think it could happen to us. But even though the probability of it may not be high at all, a disease that is rare can still hit you like a bolt from the blue! This is exactly the case with anal cancer, which is a very rare form of cancer. But, since the rates of its incidence are rising, it is well worth learning a few things about it.
Who is at Risk?
While it is unlikely that a person will contract anal cancer over the course of his life, asking himself a few questions about it so as to assess the risk he or she is at makes sense. To start off, age is an important factor. If a person is somewhere between middle age and old age, there is a far greater risk of anal cancer than a person who is not.
A person can easily reduce the risk of contracting anal cancer quite dramatically by doing something which is quite simple: refraining from anal sexual activity. This goes a rather long way as it means that a person is at a much lower risk of contracting HIV or HPV. HPV is far more common and affects most adults in sexual contact with each other. That being said, it is usually the type 16 variant of HPV which is linked to anal cancer. In order to reduce the chance of this, making good use of condoms is a very good idea but this does not eliminate the risk of transmission of HPV.
Smoking a cigarette may be great for a person to obtain a little bit of mental peace, but it has a really disastrous effect on the prospects of developing anal cancer at the same time. The chemicals that the body takes in are as harmful as they affect so many body tissues. There are many reasons to quit smoking but the fact that smokers have an eight time higher risk of developing anal cancer is probably among the good ones!
If a person is suffering from low immunity, it is quite possible that he or she is at a higher risk of developing the cancer, at least on a relative basis. This is because the ability of the body to fight back is lower. A person is especially weak after an organ transplant has taken place and if a person has HIV it further increases his or her risk of developing anal cancer.
Now, cutting the risk of anal cancer also involves possibly getting an HPV vaccination. The doctor is the person to talk to regarding this! When the risk of anal cancer is anyway minimal, it makes sense to cut it even further, by following a fit and healthy lifestyle. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.