PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
There is no sure way to prevent anal cancer. In order to reduce your risk of anal cancer:
- Practice safer sex. Abstaining from sex or practicing safe sex may help prevent HPV and HIV, two sexually transmitted viruses that may increase your risk of anal cancer. If you choose to have anal sex, use condoms.
- Get vaccinated against HPV. Two vaccines — Gardasil and Cervarix — are given to protect against HPV infection. Gardasil is approved for use in males and females between ages 9 and 26. Cervarix is approved only for girls and young women ages 10 through 25. Doctors hope the vaccines will help prevent HPV-related cancers in women, including cervical cancer and anal cancer. Gardasil is given to both sexes to protect against genital warts caused by certain types of HPV.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of anal cancer. Don't start smoking. Stop if you currently smoke.
- Deng GE, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: Complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7:85.
- Anal carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/anal.pdf. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Anal cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/anal/patient. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Malik U, et al. Cancer of the anal canal. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:1557.
- Gardasil (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2009. http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_pi.pdf. Accessed Oct. 20, 2010.
- Cervarix (prescribing information). Research Triangle Park, N.C.: GlaxoSmithKline; 2009. http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_cervarix.pdf. Accessed Oct. 20, 2010.
- Joseph DA, et al. Understanding the burden of human papillomavirus-associated anal cancers in the U.S. Cancer. 2008;113(suppl):2892.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 28, 2010.