Few physicians in Canada are trained and experienced in screening for anal cancer. Colonoscopies are not able to see issues arising in the anal canal. Three techniques used in successive order to screen for anal cancer and pre-cancer are:
Pap smear: The Papanicolaou test (Pap smear) can detect abnormal cells that might indicate either pre-cancer or anal cancer.
Digital anal-rectal examination (DARE): To detect small lumps in the anal canal, which can indicate the early signs of anal cancer.
- Biopsy: To make a definite diagnosis by analyzing the pathology of a small bit of tissue.