The anal canal is a short tube surrounded by muscle at the end of your rectum. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon large intestine. When you have a bowel movement, stool leaves your body from the rectum through the anal canal. As the cancer grows, it may stay in nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.
Anal cancer starts in the cells around or just inside the anal opening. A person may be diagnosed with precancerous cells in the anal area. With time, these cells may have a high chance of becoming cancerous. While this condition is treated differently than anal cancer, it is the reason to get treatment early. A risk factor increases your chance of getting a disease. The most common risk factor for anal cancer is being infected with the human papilloma virus HPV.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that may also cause warts in and around the anus or genitals in both men and women, but anal cancer can occur without the presence of warts. Other risk factors include:. Although few cancers are totally preventable, avoiding risk factors and getting regular checkups are important. Using condoms may reduce, but not get rid of the risk of HPV infection. HPV vaccines for those ages 9 to 26 have been shown to not only lower the risk of HPV infection, but also reduce the risk of anal cancer in men and women.
People at increased risk should talk to their physicians about getting an anal cancer screening. During this test, your physician swabs the anal lining, looking at the cells under a microscope for anything unusual. Other forms of screening include looking closely at the area during a surgery, or in the office with a special scope to look in the anal canal. Early identification and treatment of precancerous areas may help prevent anal cancer. The following symptoms can be seen with anal cancer, but may also be caused by less serious conditions such as hemorrhoids.
However, if you notice any of these, see your physician as soon as possible. Many anal cancers are found early because they are in a location that your physician can easily see and reach. Diagnosis is often made when people with any of the above symptoms undergo an anal exam. Anal cancer may also be found incidentally during yearly physical exams that include a digital rectal exam.
The rectal exam is performed to check the rectum, prostate or other pelvic organs. Anal cancers can also be found when a person has a preventive colorectal screening test such as a colonoscopy. Most cases of anal cancer have high cure rates when treated early. There are three basic types of treatment:. Combination therapy with radiation and chemotherapy is considered the gold standard treatment for most anal cancers.
Sometimes, very small or early-stage tumors may be removed surgically without the need for further treatment. If the cancer is advanced, major surgery may be required to remove the tumors. This is a commonly asked question. A colostomy is when the end of the colon large intestine is brought through an opening stoma in the abdominal wall. In the majority of cases, a colostomy is not required, as many cancers can be cured with chemotherapy and radiation alone.
A colostomy may be needed if the tumor does not respond well to therapy or recurs after treatment. For advanced anal cancers or unusual types, the surgeon may need to remove the rectum and anus and create a permanent colostomy. Sometimes this is the only way to remove all the cancer cells. Most anal cancers are cured with combination therapy. If caught early, many cancers that come back after nonsurgical treatment are treated effectively with surgery.
Regular follow-up with a careful exam by your colon and rectal surgeon is important. During the appointment, he or she will assess the results of treatment and check to see if there are any new signs of anal cancer. In some instances, additional studies may be needed. Colon and rectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.
They have completed advanced surgical training in the treatment of these diseases as well as full general surgical training. Board-certified colon and rectal surgeons complete residencies in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery, and pass intensive examinations conducted by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. They are well-versed in the treatment of both benign and malignant diseases of the colon, rectum and anus and are able to perform routine screening examinations and surgically treat conditions if indicated to do so.
These brochures are inclusive but not prescriptive. Their purpose is to provide information on diseases and processes, rather than dictate a specific form of treatment. Search for:. Anal Cancer Expanded Version. Anal cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in or around the anus or anal canal, the short passage through which bowel movements pass. The most common type of cancer found in this location is believed to be related to a type of viral infection linked to causing other ty Colorectal Cancer Risk Colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon and rectum—is the second leading cancer killer in the United States affecting both men and women.
Your risk increases as you age. Some people are at even higher risk depending on their personal or family history Basic Facts About Colorectal Cancer. The general population faces a lifetime risk for developing the disease of about 5 percent, Surgery is the most effective treatment for colorectal cancer. Even when all visible cancer has been removed, it is possible for cancer cells to be present in other areas of the body.
These cancer deposits, when very Following treatment for either colon or rectal cancer, ongoing follow-up to detect recurrent disease is considered an important part of patient care for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer follow-up refers to a systematic approach to monitoring patients for new or recurr Colon Cancer Expanded Version. Colon cancer is a common malignancy in the United States. The treatment of patients with colon cancer can be complicated and may require a team of surgical and medical specialists.
This review provides general information for patients and their families, covering colon ca Colon Cancer Myths vs. There are many myths and legends surrounding colon cancer, which can be entirely preventable. The following helps to set the record straight. If you are concerned about colon cancer, or if you have a strong family history of colorectal cancer, ask your doctor if you need Colonoscopy is an effective procedure to diagnose abnormalities of the large intestine and to screen for colorectal cancer and colorectal polyps.
A colonoscope is a long, thin flexible instrument that provides magnified views of the colon and rectum However, constipation may reflect a more serious problem that will require the help of your medical provider to suggest tests, medical intervention and, Constipation Expanded Version.
Fortunately, constipation usually is simple to avoid and easy to treat when it occurs. However, symptoms of constipation may be a sign of a more serious problem requiring medical atten Crohn's Disease. The gastrointestinal tract is a system of body organs responsible for carrying and digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and getting rid of waste.
Inflammation re Crohn's Disease Expanded Version. While medical management of the disease is the first choice, surgery may be indicated for specific reasons. This information was Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Enhanced recovery after surgery, known as ERAS is a multimodal approach to surgical care that has been shown to improve recovery after surgery, especially in patients undergoing colorectal surgical bowel resections.
Patients typically experience less pain, faster reco Fecal Incontinence. Fecal incontinence also called anal or bowel incontinence is the impaired ability to control the passage of gas or stool. This is a common problem, but often not discussed due to embarrassment. Failure to seek treatment can result in social Fecal Incontinence Expanded. OVERVIEW The purpose of this patient education piece is to provide patients and their families with information on the background, causes, and treatments of fecal incontinence.
This is intended for a general audience. Fecal incontinence is What is colorectal cancer? What is a polyp? Polyps are mushroom-like growths that form when cells lining the colon grow, di Hereditary Colorectal Cancer. They determine various physical features and may predispose people to certain diseases.
All cancers, but especially colon and rectal cancers, commonly referred to as colorectal cancer CRC , have hereditary facto