Anal Cancer

Contemplating while looking in the mirror

Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is a cancer of the skin around the anus or in the anal canal. It is related to the Human Papilloma Virus, which also causes genital warts. It is typically treated with radiation and chemotherapy rather than surgery. About 80% of anal cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 60, however, after the age of 50, it’s slightly more common in women.

Causes

The most common cause of anal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, is the human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can also cause genital warts in both men and women. Although its major cause is HPV, not all people who have HPV will develop cancer cells. If a person has HPV and a lowered immune system, due to illnesses like HIV, that can quicken the process of a tumor forming due to HPV.

Although the exact cause of anal cancer is unknown, however, there are some risk factors that correlate with anal cancer that you can avoid.

  • Smoking
  • Older in Age, normally over 55
  • Anal Sex
  • Those with a history of cancer, specifically cervical, vulvar or vaginal
  • Drug addictions that suppress the immune system

Symptoms and signs

Although an uncommon form of cancer, the signs of anal cancer are easier to spot than most cancers. One of the most common signs being bleeding from your rectum. If the bleeding becomes more excessive than hemorrhoid, it may be time to get yourself checked out.

Other common signs include pain or pressure around the anus. This can lead to an itching feeling or discharge from the anus if left untreated. If untreated for long enough a lump may start to form. Sometimes these symptoms may not come directly with other symptoms. A lump may occur in the anal area without pain or anal itching, so it’s best to check yourself as often as possible if you are at risk

Prevention

Early detection is the number one way to detect it, thus preventing it from becoming a life-threatening issue. Upon detecting any symptom of anal cancer, it best to get checked right away. Here are researched ways you can reduce your risk of anal cancer:

  • Vaccinations for HPV
  • Annually or semi-annually get anal and vaginal testing
  • Engage in safe intercourse with your sexual partners
  • Stop smoking

Should you experience any signs or symptoms that cause you to worry, it’s time to schedule an appointment with NVSCC.

Treatment Las Vegas, NV

Anal cancer can come in many forms and there are many ways to detect it. The key to prevention is consulting a specialist as soon as any symptoms happen. Patients always receive a better outcome when they test and detect early, allowing them to obtain the best treatment options.

Once you’ve been diagnosed, you will more than likely receive chemotherapy or radiation. Combining the two is the ‘gold standard’ in the treatment of most anal cancers. Only if the previous options do not work will you have to have colon or rectal surgery.

A colostomy is not always a requirement when a patient suffers from anal cancer and is normally the last option. When tumors do not respond well to chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, a colostomy is a next option. A colostomy removes your anus and rectum, then connects the end of your large intestine to a hole in the outer wall of your abdominal wall. The bag attacked collects bowel movements.

Schedule an Anal Cancer Screening Today

Our Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care staff have worked with patients for years to prevent and treat multiple kinds of anal cancer. Our trusted surgeons have saved the lives of many people suffering from an HPV cancer and we look forward to preventing our patients from having to go through struggles with cancer in the future. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.