Risk Factors of Anal Cancer

Executive Summary

The understanding of risk factors related to the disease and discussing the concerns with the expertise helps in keeping the patient more informed regarding their life and health decisions. Some of the major risk factors responsible for the development of lung cancer include Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, Age, frequent anal inflammation, Anal fistula, smoking cigarettes, and lowered immunity.

Risk factors associated with Anal Cancer

These factors increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. It also often affect the development of cancer, but most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with multiple risk factors do not develop cancer, while others do not have known risk factors. And so, knowing about the risk factors and discussing them with your doctor can help you make more informed life and health decisions ​1​.

The following factors might increase the risk of developing anal cancer: 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) 

Infection shows that this virus is a risk factor for anal cancer. A sexual relationship with a person infected with HPV is the most common way to get infected with HPV ​2​. There are various types of HPV called stocks. While studies have more strongly linked several strains of HPV to certain types of cancer. Hence, the HPV vaccine can prevent people from developing certain types of cancer.


 Most individuals diagnosed with anal cancer are between the ages of 50 and 80.

Frequent anal inflammation

Frequent redness, swelling, and pain in the anal area can increase the risk of developing anal cancer.

Anal fistula

An anal fistula is an abnormal tunnel between the anal canal and the exodermis of the anus. Tunnels often drain pus and fluids and can stain or stain clothing. Anal fistulas can also irritate external tissues and cause discomfort. Anal fistulas can increase the risk of developing anal cancer. 

Smoking cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes can damage your entire body. Chemicals from smoke can enter the bloodstream and affect almost every organ or tissue within the body. Smokers show almost eight times more efficacy to spread anal cancer than nonsmokers.

Lowered immunity

People with a disease or condition affecting their body’s immune system, such as human immunodeficiency (HIV) or organ transplantation, are more likely to originate anal cancer ​3​. Individuals who consume immunosuppressive drugs for making their immune system less able to fight disease are also more likely to develop anal cancer.

Also Read: Dietary Approaches


  1. 1.
    Salati S, Al K. Anal cancer – a review. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2012;6(2):206-230. doi:10.12816/0006000
  2. 2.
    Castellsagué X, Bosch F, Muñoz N, et al. Male circumcision, penile human papillomavirus infection, and cervical cancer in female partners. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(15):1105-1112. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa011688
  3. 3.
    Mitra S, Crane L. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of anal cancer. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2012;14(1):61-66. doi:10.1007/s11908-011-0227-3