Anal Cancer

Farrah Fawcett who died due to Anal Cancer
Farrah Fawcett who died due to Anal Cancer

Epidemiology

According to American Cancer Society estimates, there are 5,290 new cases identified in 2009 in United States, rising from 3,500 new cases in the 2001. Though the Anal Cancer Cases are fairly rare. But it is better to be aware about the devil in advance.

What is Anal Cancer

It is one of the rarest and uncommon forms of cancer, which affects the anus. The anus is the one and half inch end portion of our large intestine, which opens to allow the solid waste excrete from our body.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Types of Anal Cancer

There are basic four types, based upon their development on different parts of the Anus

1. Squamous Cell Carcinomas

More than 50%  are Squamous Cell Carcinomas, which arise from the cells lining the anal margin and the anal canal. The earliest stage of the squamous cell carcinoma is known as Bowen's disease.

2. Cloacogenic Carcinomas.

After Squamous Cell Carcinomas, most of anal tumors are cloacogenic carcinomas. These tumors develop in cloaca, a ring of tissue between anal canal and rectum.

3. Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas are the third most common type of Anal Cancer. It affects glands in the anal area. One subtype of adenocarcinoma, Paget's disease that occur in the anal area, but can also affect the vulva, breasts, and other parts of the body.

4. Skin cancers

Anal Skin Cancers are rarest of rarest cancers; only contribute 2% to 3% of all.

Cause and Symptoms

The exact causes are stll unknown but the problem is more seen in the Smokers, Homosexuals, HIV infected, and Individual in their early 60s, especially women. But you need to be alarmed if you find these symptoms

1. Pain, itching and bleeding during a bowel movement.

2. Bloating and change in radius of the stool.

3. Discharge from the Anus

4. Swollen lymph nodes in the Anus or Groin Area

In addition, a Woman may experience

1. Lower back pain

2. Vaginal dryness

Diagnosis

Anal Cancers can be diagnosed during normal routine checkup or during minor procedures like hemorrhoid removal. It may diagnose during a DRE (Digital Rectal Examination), for more you need to consult with your doctor.

Treatment

Anal cancer is mainly treated using three methods either used together or individually surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

In addition, Acupuncture is also advisable to avoid Chemotherapy related side effects. For more details, please refer to your doctor.

Prognosis

Anal Cancer is curable and the chance of recovery is about 50 to 90 % depending upon the health and cancer stage of patient.

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