October 6, 2015
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Anal Cancer

Anal cancer facts*

*Anal cancer facts medical author: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

  • Anal cancer is a disease where cancer cells develop in the tissues of the anus.
  • Risk factors include age over 50, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, many sexual partners, receptive anal sex, cigarette smoking, and frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness.
  • Signs and symptoms of anal cancer include anal bleeding, pain or pressure in the anal area, anal itching or discharge, lumps near the anus, and a change in bowel habits.
  • Diagnostic tests include a history and physical exam, digital rectal exam, anoscopy, proctoscopy, ultrasound, and biopsy.
  • The cause(s) of anal cancer are not known, but researchers suggest that HPV infections, a weakened immune system, and/or smoking may participate in causing anal cancer.
  • The following affect the prognosis of anal cancer: the size, location, and stage of the tumor; the degree of spread to the lymph nodes; recurrence; and HIV status of the patient.
  • There are 5 stages of anal cancer (0 to IV, with IV as the most advanced); chest X-ray and MRI, CT, and PET scans are used to help determine the stage.
  • Recurrent anal cancer is anal cancer that has returned after treatments.
  • Treatments for anal cancer may include radiation and/or chemotherapy and surgery; some patients may qualify for clinical trials.
  • Treatment options vary for patients that have different stages of anal cancer as more advanced stages usually require more aggressive treatments.
  • Recurrent anal cancer usually requires several types of aggressive treatments.
  • Call 1-800-4-CANCER to get more information about anal cancer from the National Cancer Institute.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com


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