Anal Cancer Treatment (Patient)
General Information About Anal Cancer
Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus.
The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer, skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like muscles, called sphincter muscles, open and close the anal opening to let stool pass out of the body. The anal canal, the part of the anus between the rectum and the anal opening, is about 1½ inches long.
The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumors in this area are skin tumors, not anal cancer.
Being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect the risk of developing anal cancer.
Risk factors include the following:
Possible signs of anal cancer include bleeding from the anus or rectum or a lump near the anus.
These and other symptoms may be caused by anal cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
Tests that examine the rectum and anus are used to detect (find) and diagnose anal cancer.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Certain factors affect the prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on the following:
The treatment options depend on the following:
eMedicineHealth Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER
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