Anal Cancer : Symptoms and Treatment

What Is Anal Cancer?

The anus is the name for the muscular area at the end of the large bowel. It is the muscle which opens and closes to control bowel movements, and is where the bowel opens to the outside of the body. This is also called a sphincter. The most frequent type of anal cancer is the squamous cell. Other types of anal cancer include basal cell melanoma and adenocarcinoma. It is the third common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among cancers.

Anal cancer is very uncommon cancer, is a disease in which maligant cells are found in the anus

What are the Risks of Developing Anal Cancer?

There is some evidence that sexual activity with more than one partner is likely to develop anal cancer. This may be because more partners’ means more chances of getting different HPV virus. There are over hundred types of human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus is passed on from one person to another through sexual contact.

There are other types sexually transmitted infections including the herpes virus, syphilis and gonorrhoea can be linked of developing anal cancer.

Smoking to some extent contributed to the cancer of the anus. Giving up smoking can help reduce your risk of getting cancer, including anal cancer.

Can Anal Cancer be treated?

The main category of treatment for anal cancer is the combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which can be given together or in isolation of one another. This combination is very useful and proved to be very effective. Even the surgery could be used as an alternative, but is not the very choice of treatment for anal cancer.

Stages of Anal Cancer

Stages are a process that helps doctors to plan the patient’s treatment. Following are the stages used to treat anal cancer:

Stage 0

Cancer is in the top layer of anal tissue. The possible treatment in this stage includes surgery to remove all of the cancer.

Stage 1

The cancer has spread across top layer of anal tissue and is small as 2 centimeters and has not spread to the muscle of the sphincter. In this stage, treatment could be as follows:

  • Simple surgery to remove all the cancer
  • Radiation therapy together or in isolation of chemotherapy. Involves placing
  • Radioactive substance that surrounds the cancer to destroy the cancer
  • If cancer still exists radiotherapy together with chemotherapy may be performed

Stage 2

The cancer has spread beyond the top later of anal tissue is large as 5 centimeters but it has not spread to organs or lymph nodes. In this stage, treatment could be as follows:

  • Simple surgery to remove all the cancer
  • Radiation therapy together or in isolation of chemotherapy. Involves placing
  • Radioactive substance that surrounds the cancer to destroy the cancer
  • If cancer still exists radiotherapy together with chemotherapy may be performed

Stage 3A

Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the rectum or to the organs such as vagina or bladder. Treatment may be as follows:

  • Radiationtherapy together with chemotherapy.
  • Surgery to remove lining around the colon and stomach, also includes the removal of the lymph nodes followed by radiation therapy

Stage 3B

Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around in the middle of the abdomen or to the organs. Treatment may be as follows:

  • Radiationtherapy together with chemotherapy.
  • Surgery to remove lining around the colon and stomach, also includes the removal of the lymph nodes followed by radiation therapy