How is anal cancer diagnosed?

These tests are some of the tests used to diagnose anal cancer:

  • Patient history: This includes questions about your medical history, lifestyle, symptoms and family medical history.
  • Visual exam with anoscopy: Your healthcare provider will look at the area, possibly using an instrument called an anoscope. The anoscope is made up of a tube and a light and lets the provider see into the anal canal.
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): Your provider is also likely to do a digital rectal exam. The provider, wearing gloves, will put lubricant on a finger and put it inside the anus to feel for lumps or other problems.
  • Anal Papanicolau (Pap) test
  • Biopsy: This test removes a small bit of abnormal tissue for testing in a lab.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

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