Saturday, July 7

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Estimated new cases and deaths from anal, anal canal, and anorectal cancer in the United States in 2012:
This year, an estimated 6,230 adults (2,250 men and 3,980 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with anal cancer. It is estimated that 780 deaths (300 men and 480 women) from this disease will occur this year.

The five-year survival rate (percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) for early, localized anal cancer is between 53% and 71%, depending on the type of cancer
New cases: 6,230.
Deaths: 780.
Risk factors include the following:
Being older than 50 years.
Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).
Having many sexual partners.
Having receptive anal intercourse (anal sex).
Frequent anal redness, swelling, and soreness.
Having anal fistulas (abnormal openings).
Smoking cigarettes.

A digital rectal exam (DRE) will find some cases of anal carcinoma early. This test is sometimes used to look for prostate cancer in men (because the prostate gland can be felt through the rectum). The rectal exam is also done routinely as part of a pelvic exam on women. In this exam, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the anus to feel for unusual lumps or growths. If you are at increased risk for anal cancer, ask your doctor whether more frequent exams are needed.
Anal cancer is an uncommon malignancy and accounts for only a small percentage (4%) of all cancers of the lower alimentary tract. Clinical trials such as EST-7283R, for example, have evaluated the roles of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery in the treatment of this disease.

The odds that anal cancer can be found early depend on the location and type of the cancer. Cancers that begin higher up in the anal canal are less likely to be found early. Melanomas tend to spread earlier than other cancers making it more difficult to diagnose in an early stage.

The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumors in this area are skin tumors, not anal cancer.

Anal cancer is usually curable. The three major prognostic factors are site (anal canal vs. perianal skin), size (primary tumors <2 cm in size have better prognoses), and nodal status.