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Anal Cancer: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

by Disease Fix Largest Disease Information Center

What is anal cancer?

Anal cancer is the cancer of anus, the end portion of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a lump which is created by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in and around the anus.

This type of cancer is very rare. American Cancer Society says that about 7,270 new cases of anal cancer were reported in the USA in 2014. Of these cases, 4,630 were of women and 2,640 were of men. Approximately 1,010 cancer patients had died from anal cancer in the USA in year 2014.

About 50% of the anal cancers are diagnosed before the malignancy of cancer beyond the anus, and about 13-25% are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. 10% of the cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other organs, or when the cancer has metastasized.

Symptoms of anal cancer

Anal cancer signs and symptoms are: 

  • A mass or growth in the anal canal – a lump near anus or at the anal opening
  • Itching
  • Narrowing of stool
  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Pain in the area of the anus

 

Causes of anal cancer

Anal cancer is very different from colorectal cancer, which is much more common. The causes, risk factors, progression, staging and treatment of anal cancer are very different from colorectal cancer. Read about causes of colorectal cancer - What causes colorectal cancer

Researchers have found risk factors that can increase a person's risk of developing anal cancer, but the exact cause of anal cancer is not known. The risk factors are: 

  • HPV infection
  • Lowered immunity
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Anal sex
  • History of cancer
  • Certain drugs that reduce immunity

 

How can you treat anal cancer?

The treatment you doctor plans for anal cancer depends on the stage of your cancer and how far it has spread, your overall health and your preferences.

Doctors treat anal cancer with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. These two treatments improve chances for a cure.

Chemotherapy drugs are injected into a vein or taken as pills. They are circulated throughout your body, killing fast growing cells, such as the uncontrolled growth of the cancer cells.

Radiation therapy uses highly powerful beams, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells.

Small anal cancers may be removed through surgery. During this procedure, a surgeon removes the tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. In surgery, early-stage cancers can sometimes be removed without damaging the anal sphincter muscles around the anal canal.

Alternative medicine can't cure anal cancer. However, some alternative medicine treatments may help you manage the side effects of cancer treatment. Your doctor can treat many side effects, but sometimes medications may not be enough. Alternative options can help your doctor's treatments and may provide additional comfort.

Coping with the disease

  • You can help yourself by coping with the disease. Some tips are:
  • Learn about anal cancer to make decisions about your care and treatment
  • Be social and be with friends and family members
  • Find someone to talk to

About Author:

Mohd Salman, is a medical science professional and is associated with DiseaseFix as a researcher. DiseaseFix develops health information modules for patients and provides a unique platform to allow access of reliable information of a variety of types for diseases.

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Created on Nov 10th 2017 00:29. Viewed 568 times.

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