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A Mens Health Question - Should I Get an Anal Pap?

Should My Mens Health Exam Include an Anal Pap?

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Updated June 21, 2009

A viewer asks this mens health question:
"I am a 26 year old straight male doing research for a college paper. I learned about a simple screening test that men are getting that some say helps identify cellular changes in rectal tissue. These changes could be anal cancer. Now I'm wondering should an anal pap be part of my mens health exam? I'm straight and "nothing" goes in that area. I'm not in pain or bleeding but I'm worried because I felt around that area and found a little bump just inside my rectum. It felt like a vein but it was raised. So, should I get an anal pap at my next mens health exam?"

Your HIV Guide responds:

At the very least men should have yearly rectal exams as part of their mens health exam. This does not have to include an anal pap and to be honest the jury is still out as to the benefit of such a test. One thing that has proven effective in the early detection of cancer is self testicular exams. All mens health maintenance should include a testicular exam. Men should be doing regular self testicular exams just like women do breast exams.

The Self Testicular Exam - A 3 Minute Test That Could Save Your Life

The problem you describe could be nothing more than a hemorrhoid but to make sure call your doctor, schedule an appointment, and make sure he or she does a rectal exam. Your doctor can tell you if the problem requires a more invasive exam.

What Is An Anal Pap And How Is It Done?

If you have an area you are questioning; a lump or a "vein" or rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding by all means get it checked out. Ignoring changes in your body could mean a potentially serious problem goes unnoticed and could become a huge problem in the future.

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