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HIV and Possible Cancer, Linked?
Mar 31, 2002

I was diagnosed HIV in December 2001 and at the same time started to encounter pain in my rectal area. On checking I found a lump just inside my rectum,above my prostate, which is now being investigated, also my glands have been continuously swollen, possibly associated to the HIV but unknown at the moment. I have to undergo both a gland biopsy and a colonoscopy before I know where I stand, but I was informed that I have a low CD4 count (226) and a high viral load (440,000). My question is about the chances of the two being linked?

Response from Dr. Dezube

HIV infection is indeed linked to anal cancer. Please look over my other responses in for more information on the subject. This does not mean that everyone who gets anal cancer has HIV, but rather HIV infection can predispose a patient to anal cancer, as well as multiple other cancers (e.g. lymphoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, cervical cancer, to name but a few). First you obviously need to find out exactly what you have. There are many things (e.g. warts) which can cause your lump which are NOT cancerous.

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