Anal cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs less frequently than colon cancer. Since anal cancer develops in the anus, a doctor will be able to see and evaluate your condition more easily than other cancers that affect the digestive tract. Like colon and rectal cancer, early detection of anal cancer greatly increases the chance of successful treatment. It’s important to get evaluated by a medical professional if you experience any abnormal symptoms in or around your anus. Dr. Kamrava is a board-certified colorectal surgeon who specializes in evidence-based treatment of anal cancer, providing effective and up-to-date care.
Who Is At Risk?
Although anal cancer does not occur as often as colon or rectal cancer, there are certain individuals who have a higher risk of developing the disease. Most patients with anal cancer also have been infected with the sexually transmitted disease HPV (human papilloma virus). Those who have suffered from anal warts may also have a higher risk of developing anal cancer. Colon cancer screenings should begin at age 50, and individuals over the age of 50 should also get checked for signs of anal cancer.
Anal Cancer Symptoms
The anus is the lowest part of the intestines. Stool passes through the anus as it exits the body. Even though this region of the body is distinct from the colon and rectum, anal cancer is just as real. Symptoms oft-attributed to anal cancer include anal bleeding, pain, itching, mucous in the stool, abnormal bowel movements, or changes in bowel habits. Physical symptoms occur as a result of a cancerous growth along the anal canal.
Screening and Diagnosis
Although routine screenings for anal cancer are not standard practice, during a routine colonoscopy, any anal abnormalities may be noted. A colonoscopy is a procedure where a doctor examines the large intestine with a specialized scope. During these screenings, the visual inspection will also check your anus for ulcers, polyps, tumors, or any other abnormalities. Anal tissue may also be removed and biopsied. The biopsy will determine whether or not cancer has developed. A digital rectal exam, flexible endoscopy exam, and stool evaluation can be used specifically to screen for anal cancer.
Anal Cancer Frequently Asked Questions
Unusual colorectal symptoms, especially in or around your anus, can be both alarming and confusing. Consulting a medical professional will help you understand your condition more thoroughly, as well as determine the best treatment plan. If you’d like to expand your knowledge of anal cancer, here are answers to common questions about the disease. To find out more about anal cancer, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 424.279.8222 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kamrava.
Q: What is anal cancer?
A: Anal cancer develops in the anus, which consists of the anal canal and the anal verge. The anal canal connects the anal opening to the rectum, and cancerous cells may develop in this short passageway.
Q: What are anal cancer symptoms?
A: Keep in mind that early-stage anal cancer often has no symptoms. Once it has progressed, pain, bleeding, and abnormal bowel habits are common symptoms of the disease. Since these symptoms could indicate a number of medical issues, it’s best to consult a colorectal specialist before self-diagnosing your condition.
Q: Is anal cancer related to anal warts or HPV?
A: Patients who suffer from anal cancer are more likely to have also been infected with HPV or anal warts. However, anal warts will not necessarily develop into anal cancer. If you’ve had either of these conditions, regular screenings for anal cancer will help catch the disease in its early stages.
Q: Are anal tumors always cancerous?
A: Anal tumors or polyps are not always cancerous, but they need to be removed by a colorectal specialist. Many types of benign tumors may occur in the anal canal. These growths may develop into cancer over time, so they are referred to as pre-cancerous conditions.
Q: What are the best treatment options for anal cancer?
A: If you have been diagnosed with anal cancer, Dr. Kamrava will determine the best anal cancer treatment plan based on the type and stage of your disease. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are effective methods that may be used to treat the cancer.
Call Today to Schedule an Anal Cancer Consultation With Dr. Kamrava
To learn more about anal cancer, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kamrava. An evaluation by a colorectal specialist will be the best way to pinpoint the source of your symptoms and get you the most appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Call our office today at 424.279.8222!
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