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Anal cancer occurs int he anus, the end of the gastrointestinal tract. It is very different from colorectal cancer which is much more common. Anal cancer is a lump created by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the anus. Anal cancer is very rare. According to the American Cancer Society, around 7,270 new cases were estimated of anal cancer in the USA of which 4,630 were women and 2,640 were men. Nearly 1,010 people died from anal cancer in the USA in the year 2014. Contact us to get your Anal Cancer Treatment in India from the top cancer surgeons in India.
The anus is the opening at the lower end of the intestines. As food is digested it passes from the stomach to the small intestine and then travels to the main part of the large intestine called the colon. The colon absorbs water and salt from the digested food. The waste matter which is left after going through the colon is known as stool or feces which are stored in the lower part of the large intestine called as rectum that is the final six inches of the digestive system. From there, they pass out of the body through the anus as a bowel movement.
The anal opening is connected to the rectum by the anal canal which is about an inch and a half long. It goes from the rectum to the anal verge.
The inner lining of the anal canal is mucosa and most anal cancers start from the cells in it. The glands and ducts are found under the mucosa. The glands make mucus which acts as a lubricating fluid. Anal cancers which start from the cells in the glands are adenocarcinomas.
Often the anal cancers are divided into two groups, which are sometimes treated differently:
- Cancers of the anal canal above the anal verge
- Cancers of the anal margin below the anal verge
In some cases, it extend from one area into the other, hence it is hard to know exactly where they started. The anal canal is surrounded by a sphincter, a circular muscle that keeps the feces from coming out until it relaxes during a bowel movement. Find the Cost of Treatments for Anal Cancer in India by contacting us on our website.
Types of Anal Cancer
The type of anal cancer depends on the type of cell the cancer started in.
Squamous cell cancer
This is the most common type of anal cancer with 8 out of 10 anal cancers being squamous cell cancers. They are also called as epidermoid cancers. This type of anal cancer starts in the squamous cells that make up the lining of the anal canal. There are three types of squamous cell cancer:
- Large cell keratinising
- Large cell non keratinising
Non epidermoid cancer
2 out of 10 anal cancers (20%) are a type called as non epidermoid cancers. These are different from the squamous cell anal cancers, so the treatment is different. The different types of non epidermoid cancers, which are listed below:
- Basal cell carcinoma
It develops from the glandular cells which produce mucus in the anal canal. It is rare and the doctors treat it same way as the rectal cancer.
It is a type of skin cancer which starts in the skin area around the anus.
This is another type of skin cancer which starts in the skin cells called as melanocytes. Doctors treat this type of anal cancer in the same way as the melanomas.
Some of the common risk factors of anal cancer are:
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection
- A history of receptive anal intercourse
- HIV infection
- Lowered immunity
- A history of cervical, vulvular or vaginal cancer
- Chronic local inflammation such as anal fistulas or open wounds which last a long time have a slightly higher risk of anal cancer
- Lowered immunity
- Age- about two-thirds of anal cancer cases occur in people older than 55
- Race and gender- Anal cancer incidence is higher among African Americans particularly men than the whites. Anal cancer is generally more common in women than in men.
The common symptoms of anal cancer may include the following:
- Persistent or recurring anal itching
- Anal bleeding
- Recurring or persistent pain in the anal region
- Change in bowel habits or increased strain during bowel movement
- The feeling of a lump of mass in the anus
- Abnormal discharge from the anus
- A narrowing of the diameter of stool
- Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin areas
Most often the anal cancers are found due to the signs or symptoms a person is having. If the anal cancer is suspected, then the following exams and tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis. To know more about the cheapest hospital for anal cancer treatment in Mumbai, get in touch with us by sending your query on our website.
- Medical history and physical exam
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
- Rigid proctosigmoidoscopy
- Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)
- Imaging tests
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan
- CT-guided needle biopsy
- Chest X-ray
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan
In case the cancer is found, then further tests will be done to help determine the stage of the cancer.
Stage 0: Also called as carcinoma in situ in this, the abnormal cells are in the first layer of the lining of the anus only. These abnormal cells may become cancer.
Stage I: The tumor is no larger than 2cm and it has not spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.
Stage II: The tumor is no larger than 2cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Stage IIIA: The tumor may be any size and has spread either to the nearby lymph nodes or to organs such as bladder, urethra, or a woman’s vagina.
Stage IIIB: The tumor has invaded the other nearby organs but the lymph node spread is limited to the area around the rectum and there is no distant spread. Or the tumor may be of any size, lymph node spread can be local or distant, but there is no disease which spread to the distant organs.
Stage IV: The tumor may be any size and has spread to the lymph nodes and to distant parts of the body.
Recurrent: When the cancer has come back after treatment, it is called as recurrent cancer. If the cancer returns, then there will be another round of tests to learn about the extent of the recurrence.
The treatment options for anal cancer depend on the stage of the cancer, where the tumor is in the anus, whether the patient has HIV and whether the cancer remains after the treatment or has recurred. Send us your query to know the Treatment Cost for Anal Cancer in India at the best hospitals for anal cancer in India.
Usually, surgery is not the first option for most people with anal cancer. If you need surgery, the operation depends on the type and location of the tumor. Get in touch with us to get the Low Cost Anal Cancer Treatment in India. Contact Best Cancer Surgeons in Mumbai by send us your query on our website.
Local resection: It is an operation which removes only the tumor and a small margin of the normal tissue around the tumor. Often it is used to treat cancers of the anal margin if the cancer is small and has not spread to the nearby lymph nodes or tissues. In most cases, it preserves the sphincter which allows a person to move their bowels normally post surgery.
Abdominoperineal resection: Also known as APR is an extensive operation in which the surgeon makes one incision in the abdomen and another around the anus to remove the anus and the rectum. The surgeon may also take out some of the nearby groin lymph nodes during this operation. An APR was often done in the past for anal cancers but it can be always avoided as the first treatment by using chemotherapy and radiation therapy instead. Now, it is often used as an option if other treatments don’t get rid of the cancer or if the cancer comes back post treatment.
It uses drugs to treat cancer which can be swallowed in pill form or need to be injected into the vein or muscle. It enters the bloodstream to reach and destroy the cancer cells throughout the body.
To treat anal cancer, chemotherapy can be combined with radiation therapy or given after surgery to destroy any cancer cells which were left behind because they were too small to see or used when the anal cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the liver or lungs.
It uses a beam of high energy rays to destroy the cancer cells or slow their rate of growth. It can be used as a part of the main treatment for most anal cancer, or after surgery if the doctor is concerned that all the cancer might not be removed or to help treat cancer which has recurred in the lymph nodes after initial treatment, or to help control advanced cancer or to relieve the symptoms it causes. There are two main form of radiation therapy- external beam and internal radiation or brachytherapy. The most common way for anal cancer treatment with radiation is focused beam of radiation from a machine outside the body, known as external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).
Radiation can harm the nearby healthy tissues along with the cancer cells. The doctors carefully figure out the exact dose you need and aim the beams as accurately as they can to figure out the exact dose. It is much like getting an X-ray but the radiation is stronger and the procedure is painless. Each treatment lasts only for a few minutes and the treatments are often given 5 days a week for a period of 5 weeks.
Your doctor will still want to watch you closely when the treatment ends. It is quite vital to go for all your follow-up appointments. Your doctors will ask question about any problems you have and will do physical exam and order blood tests and imaging tests. As with any cancer treatment, it has side effects some of which can last for a few weeks to months while others can last the rest of your life. Talk with your cancer care team about any changes, problems you notice and any concerns or questions you have. To know the Cost of Anal Cancer Surgery in India, contact us on our website by sending us your query. Fill up our free consultation form on our website to get your treatment from the Best Oncologist for Anal Cancer in Delhi at the Best Cancer Hospital in Delhi.