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Anal cancer concern
I apologize for the length of my post, but I want to be thorough.

I am a 42 year old woman. I have had large lumps directly surrounding my anus for some time now (+1 year). These lumps are firm but not hard and don't appear to be hanging and cannot be pushed back into the rectum. It is about the size of a small walnut.

I have had some spots of blood in the past, but not recently. I frequently have both constipation and diarrhea. It can be difficult to pass stools.

We haven't had insurance for a few years, but have just enrolled through husband's employer. It doesn't begin until Jan. 2012 however.

I had cervical dysplasia 20 years ago and the area was "frozen". Pap tests were negative thereafter but I have not had one in +5 years.

I am very concerned as over the past few months I've been feeling generally ill, with fatigue, depression, unexplained low back pain, etc.

I know anal cancer is rare but I also know it is often undiagnosed/misdiagnosed because of hemorrhoid assumption.

I just would like some advise and wondering if waiting another 6 weeks is really going to make that much difference one way or the other.

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1728693_tn?1332168862
I take it from your note that you are from the US. I'm sure any MD can do a digital recal exam and an anoscopy in their office at most emerg or free clinics.

I suspect that six weeks won't make much difference either way, but sooner is probably better for your state of mind - have you tried any topical meds to try get some relief in the meantime?

I wouldn't necessarily jump to conclusions yet about cancer - there are a host of other issues that it could be - Anal abrasions, fissures and fistulas. An anal abrasion is a small tear in your anus, usually caused by forced bowel movements through a tight anus. An anal fissure is a deeper tear. An anal fistula is a small tunnel that forms under the skin and connects a previously infected anal gland to the skin on the buttocks outside the anus. All three conditions can cause anal itching, as well as painful bowel movements and bleeding.

Hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are engorged veins located just under the membrane that lines the lowest part of your rectum and anus. They often occur as a result of straining during a bowel movement. Anal itching can be a symptom of hemorrhoids. - have a look at wikipedia under Hemorrhoid#External.

According to the Mayo Clinic - "Rarely, benign or cancerous tumors in or around the anus may be a cause of anal itching."

Best of luck.

K
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Thanks for the reply.

I am in the U.S. I am putting off any exam because insurance doesn't start until the first of the year, and IF it is something serious, I don't want to be saddled with a pre-existing condition that isn't covered.

I have used OTC treatments numerous times with no relief. The growth is not painful to the touch nor does it bleed, though as I said originally, I have had some blood in the past, but not lately. There are no external tears. It doesn't ever shrink or recede, with or without treatment, or with days of "regular" bowel movements that don't cause pain. It's like a permanent lump(s).

I know I'm not going to gather much information until I can get to a doctor, just looking for feedback and/or venting, I guess.
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