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Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2011

I just had an Digital Rectal Exam and a colonoscopy. They would have found anal cancer during these procedures, correct?? It was done by a GI doctor at a Medical Center.

Posts: 80
Joined: Jun 2010

yes, the Dr. should be able to find cancer through those tests.The only concern might be if the diagnosis is missed. Good luck to you!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2011

He was looking in that area because I also have a rectocele. How would the diagnosis be missed

mp327's picture
Posts: 4106
Joined: Jan 2010

I see two problems here. First of all, my internist did a digital rectal exam on me and proclaimed with great certainty that I had a bleeding hemorrhoid. She was terribly wrong, as it was an anal tumor. SO, because many peoples' stories are just like mine, I can only conclude that many doctors can not tell the difference between a hemorrhoid and a tumor with a simple DRE. Secondly, a colonoscopy is NOT the best exam for finding anal cancer. Colonoscopy is designed to look at the colon and perhaps the rectum. The anal canal is only a couple of inches long and often the scope is inserted and passed quickly through that area without complete observation. The same is true when the scope is pulled out at the end of the exam. Many anal cancers have been missed on colonoscopies. If you are having symptoms and nothing has been found with the two above-mentioned exams, then I would urge you to see a colorectal specialist and insist upon anoscopy, which is a short scope specifically used to view the anal canal. That is how my cancer was found and many others' also. The exam is not painful, only perhaps a little uncomfortable, and requires no prep like a colonoscopy.

I truly hope you do not have anal cancer, but please get checked out thoroughly if you have symptoms such as rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, thinning or narrowing of stools, abdominal bloating and cramping, unexplained weight loss, anal itching, painful bowel movements or mucous discharge with BM's. Any and all of these can be symptoms of anal cancer.

Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

I agree with Martha . . .as usual. My cancer was originally diagnosed as 'in situ'(contained) cancer of the rectum rather than invasive anal cancer through a colonoscopy.

Rather you be too cautious than not.

Please let us know if we can further support you in any way.


Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

I agree with the advise given by all here, to consult with a colorectal doctor. Mine was also missed on my yearly check up, and I had symptoms and the tumor, I could feel it. The dr. told me it was a hemorrhoid, but it didn't go away and it was painful, so I went back to my family dr. and he sent me to the colorectal dr. And I was diagnosed with it 6 months later. As you can see, this can be easily missed. I truly hope yours doesn't turn out to be cancer, but please make sure. Take Care!

Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2011

I am not trying to scare you but they did not find mine with a colonoscopy nor flex sig. They put me out and did exam that way and found it right away. My DR. said that the didnt do the biospy deep enough with the other test.

Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2011

My cancer was missed a DRE and an anascope but because it was already found in a lymph-node they did an anal biopsy and my tumer was hiding behind an inside hemeroid. Please make sure no stone is left unturned !!!

sephie's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: Apr 2009

i went to a proctologist for 9 months with pain and bleeding. he did multiple DRE's which hurt so badly and anoscopes and kept telling me no cancer here. he even did a colonoscopy with no cancer he told me. i should have gone to a colorectal surgeon a lot sooner. he put me in hospital with anesthesia, looked and did a huge biopsy trying to cut it all out. i got stitched up and thought i would die from the pain for 3 months BUT he found it. then went to MDA for tx. so please go to colorectal surgeon who has seen anal cancer. sephie

z's picture
Posts: 1401
Joined: May 2009

Hello, When I went to the gyno PA, she said this is not a hemroid, and referred me to a gastrologist, who said this could be a hemroid, who referred me to a general surgeon, who said I am 95% sure this is anal cancer. At this point I had a colonoscopy and biopsy for the tumor and it came back as a T2NOMO squamous cell anal cancer. Please have a biopsy. I wish you well, and keep us posted. Lori

Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi, Please get yourself checked again. Especially if you have any of the symptoms that Martha mentioned earlier (itchy butt, bleeding hemorhoids, mucus with stool, continuous constipation, weight loss, etc). I had absolutely no pain at all, then I started bleeding profusely out my butt... The ER doc did a digital and ordered a CAT scan, which showed a large mass. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy to confirm.. They found several more polyps, hemorhoids, and the tumor. I was diagnosed with Stage 3B anal cancer. I don't want to alarm you, but it is better to get it checked by a colorectal surgeon. The GI docs will tell you that their expertise ends at the end of the intestines/colon... the rectum and anus is the property of the colorectal specialists. Please get yourself checked. We are all hoping this is a false alarm for you. This is a very loving, caring, and compassionate discussion/support group. We all have info and experiences to pass along. Please feel free to ask us for advice for your questions and concerns. Make a list of your concerns and bring them to your doctor...and get answers. Keep a good attitude. Keep us posted. God bless.

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