The Anal cancer or the cancer of the anal gland is the less common among all the other types of cancer.
As the name suggests it occurs in the anus. The anus is the channel outlet through which the waste material or the stools leave the body.
The muscles which surround the anus are called the sphincter muscles which in turn control the bowel movements. Though this disease is considered to be very rare its incidence is undetected and increasingly rapidly.
Anal Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Anal cancer symptoms and signs include:
- Anal region pain
- Anal or rectal bleeding
- A mass or growth in the anus
- Anal discharge
- Anal itching
- A feeling that the anal area is full
Most importantly in some cases anal cancer symptoms may not appear thus making it highly impossible to diagnose.
The most common method of treating this disease is the surgery which is in many cases an extensive one which involves the removal of the anus. Recent improvement treatment techniques involve the use of radiation and chemotherapy methods which aim to save the anus and thus making it possible for he anal cancer survivors to preserve their bowel movements.
Unfortunately this is not possible in all cases all the time. This cannot at any cost be implemented in the advanced cases. However, many of the cases are diagnosed at very early stages depending on the symptoms, so in such cases the treatment gives good results.
Anal Cancer Complications
It is very uncommon that anal cancer spreads but when it does it becomes highly impossible to treat. Studies reveal that only small percentage tumors are known to spread to other organs. Most commonly affected are the liver and the lungs.
Anal Cancer Prevention
There is no sure cut method to prevent anal cancer but definitely few measures may be followed in order to reduce its risk. Some of the measures may be as follows:
- Vaccination may help to prevent this disease. As the vaccine for HPV has given good results in preventing the effect of virus, which in turn is a high risk factor for cause of anal cancer it has proved to prevent the disease in a way be it anal cancer or cervical cancer in women.
- Both HPV and HIV are the sexually transmitted viruses which hold a high risk for this disease. So in order to prevent the affect of these viruses it is more sensible to practice safe sex.
- As smoking also proves to be a high risk factor for anal cancer it is better to quit smoking.