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anal warts
Oct 23, 2000

I am HIV negative male age 46. Approximately 20 years ago I contracted anal warts from anal intercourse. I was wondering if there is an increased risk for colo-rectal cancer. The warts were in the rectum and I had to be placed under anesthesia to have quite a few of them removed. I have been asymptomatic but recently learned that my mother has a tumor in her colon. I plan to have a colonoscopy and am concerned that the warts put me at greater risk. Is this fear backed up by medical data? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Anal warts do indeed carry an increased risk of rectal cancer, especially if the wart virus is one of the common cancer-associated strains. You can be monitored for the development of cancer -- which usually takes a long time to develop -- by having random rectal biopsies done at regular intervals, such as every 6-12 months.

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