November 28, 2015
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Anal Cancer (cont.)

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What is anal cancer?

Cancers arise in areas of the body when some of the cells of a tissue become abnormal in both their gross and microscopic appearance and in their behavior. They can damage adjacent healthy tissue cells by directly invading them. Cancer cells also have the ability to invade blood vessels and lymphatic channels and spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.

What are anal cancer statistics?

Anal cancers are rare, accounting for only about 4% to 5% of cancers of the GI tract. The risk of developing anal cancer appears to be increasing. In 2015, there will be about 7270 new cases of anal cancer in the US. In 2015, there will be about 1010 deaths due to anal cancer in the US.

What are the risk factors for anal cancer?

Anal cancer risk factors include:

  • Age over 50
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection
  • Many sexual partners
  • Receptive anal intercourse/anal sex
  • Smoking
  • Conditions which impair the immune system including HIV viral infection and immunosuppressive drugs
  • History of other pelvic cancers caused by HPV infection
  • Recurrent anal irritation with pain and redness
  • Race and gender: Anal cancer is more common in women than men in most ethnic groups. In African Americans, it is more common in men than women.

What are the symptoms and signs of anal cancer?

The symptoms and signs of anal cancers may include one or more of the following:

  • A lump or mass near the anus
  • Anal bleeding
  • A sense of pressure in the anal area
  • A change in bowel habits
  • Anal discharge

What are the different types of anal cancer?

The majority of primary cancers of the anus are squamous cell carcinomas. Other types of anal cancers include:

  • cloacogenic,
  • basaloid transitional,
  • adenocarcinoma of the anal glands, and
  • melanoma (rare).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/13/2015



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