Anal Sex After Treatment for Anal Cancer
Last Modified: January 6, 2008
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I received chemotherapy and radiation for anal cancer in 2006. As a gay man, is it safe to resume anal intercourse?
Najjia N. Mahmoud, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, responds:
I don't see any reason why someone would not be able to engage in anal receptive intercourse with the following stipulations:
- Because the cause of anal cancers is thought to be related to certain strains of human papilloma virus, intercourse has to be protected – which means a condom must be worn.
- Radiation can cause the skin around the anus and the anal canal to be friable and irritated. Small breaks in the skin caused by the trauma of intercourse may not heal as well, may bleed easily, and/or may be more prone to infection, even after the acute radiation damage heals. If you develop any pain or symptoms of infection, be sure to see your doctor.
Study Tracks Patterns of U.S. Cases of Anal Canal Carcinoma
Apr 3, 2013 - Available screening and identification of human papillomavirus likely contributed to the increased incidences of squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCCA) and anal carcinoma in situ (CIS) after 1997, according to research published online March 18 in Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Frequently Asked Questions
National Cancer Institute
I Wish You Knew
How cancer patients have changed my life
Blogs and Web Chats
OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.
Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!