A dermatologist says there are several causes of anal lumps, and one is cancer.

Most causes of anal lumps are not related to cancer, but cancer can be a cause.

“Lesions around the anus can be as harmless as hemorrhoids (except of course if these hemorrhoids are painful or bleeding—this requires surgical treatment with a colorectal surgeon),” says Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.

Skin tags can be another cause of anal lumps, though they won’t really look like true lumps, but they may feel like them against your fingertips. Skin tags are collections of extra tissue.

Other Benign Causes of Anal Lumps

Dr. Tung adds that a skin infection that causes genital warts can be a culprit.


Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can cause anal lumps, says Dr. Tung.

“Fortunately, appearances of each of these conditions are fairly specific, so a skin biopsy is only needed when the look is not typical.

“Skin tags can be numbed with a topical anesthetic and then snipped and cauterized.

“Skin cancers require surgical and possibly additional medical treatment.

“Warts can be treated with freezing (cryotherapy—liquid nitrogen application ), topical medicine application or other minimally invasive procedures like spot chemical peeling, electrical cautery or laser surgery.”

Dr. Tung’sdr. tung specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick