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Causes of anal cancer

The disease is more common in people who have anal intercourse and there is an association with human papilloma virus infection as well HIV, although a causative link has not firmly been established. There are many types of human papilloma virus and only a few of these types seem to be linked to the development of anal cancer. Those that are linked to these viruses have a similar prognosis to those that are not.


Long term immunosuppression, eg in those who have had organ transplants, also increases the risk of developing anal cancer


Smoking increases the risk of developing Anal Cancer by between 2- and 5- fold.


The development of anal cancer does not seem to be linked to haemmorhoids (piles), anal fissures or fistulae. The link with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns Disease or Ulcerative Colitis) is controversial.


Last updated 02/12/2008

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