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Anal/Rectal HPV squamous cell symptoms? Signs? Detection?

Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2014

Hi, I have yet to be seen but hoping to find out from those who have had rectal or anal squamous cells how they were screened? Where did you go? Can the ER do any of the testing or does it require a specific field of doctor(s)? Signs and symptoms? I was diagnosed with cervical displaysia level 4, 2 years ago. I had no idea that you could contract HPV rectally. I am fearful it was missed and have constant discomfort, a burning sensation, and constant nausea. I am also beside myself with worry and fear. Any advice or words of wisdom would be beyond appreciated.

0626june's picture
Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 2014

mine was detected through a colonoscopy where they saw the tumor and sent a biopsy to the lab.  The term squamous cell frightened me, but I found out (on here) that they are the cells that respond well to treatment. Your worry and fear are understandable, but it may not be as bad of news as you fear. You are not alone going through this.  There are many wonderful people on this site that will help you through it. keep us posted,  June

mp327's picture
Posts: 4147
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry to hear that you have already dealt with cervical dysplasia and I hope you are doing well in that regard now.  As for anal dysplasia or cancer, IMO the best specialist to consult would be a colorectal doctor.  Do not go to the ER!  Colorectal doctors can perform a digital rectal exam and an anoscope, which is a short scope used to view the anal canal.  They can also do a thorough exam of the perianal area, looking for any external lesions.  If you are having discomfort and burning, you should definitely get checked.  Itching is also a common symptom.

At the time of my diagnosis of anal cancer Stage 1-2 in 2008, I had been experiencing bleeding with BM's, chronic constipation, a feeling of never being completely emptied out after a BM, abdominal discomfort and bloating, fatigue and weight loss.  I was completely shocked when I went to a colorectal doctor for a consult visit prior to her doing my first colonoscopy when she stated she wanted to examine me that day after taking my history and hearing my symptoms.  After the exam (DRE & anoscope), she told me she was 99% sure I had cancer.  I had the colonoscopy 2 days later, at which time she did a biopsy, which came back a few days later showing squamous cell cancer.  

Unfortunately, the general belief of most people is that unless you have had anal sex, you are not at risk for anal dysplasia/cancer.  However, this is SO not true, as many of us have learned.  Due to the design of the female anatomy, things being close together down there, it is quite possible.  Anal dysplasia can lead to anal cancer, so I hope you will get thoroughly checked out by a colorectal specialist who can do the appropriate exams and has experience in dealing with these two.  I wish you all the best and hope that you will get the all clear. 

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