The most common risk factors of anal cancer include:
Human Papillomavirus (HPV type 6) – HPV infection is a major causative factor of cervical and anal cancer. HPV 6 was identified in several studies as a degenerative factor of the anal epithelia, cells that line the surface of the anal cavity. If left untreated, this degeneration can lead to the onset of cancer in some people. The virus is transmitted most frequently by direct skin to skin contact or mucous to mucous during sexual intercourse. Therefore, practicing unsafe sex is a major risk for developing anal cancer.
Sex – Although anal cancer affects both men and women, it is predominant in women. Several studies have revealed that women are more victims of anal cancer than “heterosexual” men are. There is, however, a difference in homosexual men.
Anal sex – if you practice anal sex, your risk of having HPV infection and anal cancer is higher. This risk concerns not only male homosexuals but also heterosexual couples who engage in anal sexual activities. However, gays are more often diagnosed with anorectal diseases.
HIV / AIDS – people who are affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or having a history of genital warts have increased risk of anal cancer.
Smoking – Smoking may also promote the development of anal cancer.
Being polygamous – having multiple partners increases your risk of having anal cancer, HIV/AIDS, HPV infection and all other STDs
Immunosuppressive drugs – taking Immunosuppressive drugs or immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids for a long period of time put you at risk for developing all types of cancer.