About Anal Cancer
Anal cancer is a malignant tumour of either the anal canal or anal verge, the verge of the gastrointestinal tract. It usually spreads through direct invasion into the surrounding tissue or through the lymphatic system. Spread of anal cancer through the blood is less common, although it can occur.
Cancers arising from the anal verge represent 25% of all anal cancers.
- Age: Majority (~85%) of cases and the incidence of anal cancer increases with age. Patients with anal cancer have an average age of 62 years. Cancers of the anal canal are more common in women than men.
Infections: Several infections like-
- Sexually transmitted virus like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has been linked to anal cancers, and individuals infected with HIV are at an increased risk for infection with HPV
- Smoking: Patients who smoke are three times more likely to develop anal cancer as those who don't. The risk of anal cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years that a person has been smoking.
- Weak immune system: A weak immune system increases the risk of anal cancer, especially when you have infections like HIV
- History: Few studies show that if you have had cervical or vaginal cancer, the risk of anal cancer increases
- Anal intercourse
- In about 50% of cases, the initial symptom of anal cancer is bleeding.
- Pain is somewhat less common; however, it can be quite severe.
- Occasionally, patients have the sensation of having a mass in the anus and can experience itching or anal discharge.
- In advanced cases, anal cancers can disrupt the function of the anal muscles, resulting in loss of control of bowel movements.
- Difficulty in controlling your bowel
In general, these symptoms are vague and non-specific. As a result, in one-half to two-thirds of patients with anal cancer, a delay of up to 6 months occurs between the time when symptoms start and when a diagnosis is made.
- HPV vaccines should be taken. It can result in reduction in the risk of anal cancers
- Quit smoking
- Unsafe sexual practices should be avoided
- Patients who have anal dysplasia, careful surveillance can result in early detection of anal cancer, and a higher rate of success with treatment. However, removal of areas of anal dysplasia is usually unsuccessful. The rate of recurrence of anal dysplasia after surgical or laser removal is very high.
- Endoscopy: Doctor use a short lighted tube with an attached lens or video camera attached to examine the anus, rectum, and part of the large intestine.
- Biopsy: Surgery is done to remove a tissue sample that is examined under a microscope to check for cancer.
- Once the diagnosis of anal cancer is made, additional tests are done to determine the extent of the disease, like:
- CT scan or MRI: This helps to look for abnormally enlarged lymph nodes, which can result from spread of the cancer, and to examine the liver for metastatic disease.
- Chest x-ray: It is often performed to look for spread of the cancer to the lungs.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound of the tumor using a probe that is inserted into the anus can be used to determine the amount of invasion of the tumor into the surrounding tissues.
There are different types of anal cancer treatment and depends on many factors. The location, type and stage of cancer of the tumour are significant. After the cancer is found and staged, your doctor will talk to you about the various treatment options available. A key part of the anal cancer treatment is saving the anal sphincter muscles so that you have control on the bowel and has less impact on the overall quality of life.
At Cancer Healer Center, anal cancer treatment through Cancer Healer therapy is a type of Immunotherapy that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer without any major side effects. The way the therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. Cancer Healer Team plans the anal cancer treatment by taking several factors in consideration, including:
- Type and size of the cancer
- Spread of the cancer
- General health of the patient
This therapy can also be given in conjunction with other traditional therapies like Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy overcoming their side effects. While choosing the best treatment for you, you and your team will take into consideration your age, your overall health and your personal preferences.