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Anal cancer is a disease where cancerous (malignant) cells grow in the tissues of the anus. Feces (stool) leaves the body through the anus. The anus is controlled by a group of muscles called the sphincter.
Our specialists diagnose and treat all stages of anal cancer with minimally invasive techniques.
Sometimes, people seek medical attention because of itching around the anus or blood in the stool. These symptoms are similar to those of hemorrhoids (swollen veins around the anus).
Other anal cancer symptoms include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a colorectal cancer specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
More than 7,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with anal cancer each year. It is the least common of the colorectal cancer types.
Risk factors for anal cancer include:
Avoiding anal cancer screening also poses a risk. Regular screenings can help us detect it at an early stage when treatment is easier and more effective.
Our rectal cancer specialists recommend treatment options based on your individual needs. Our team approach incorporates comprehensive care before, during, and after treatment.
For patients who have a small anal cancer near the anal opening (called anal margin cancers or carcinoma in situ), surgery often is the best solution.
Our range of anal tumor surgical treatments includes:
Depending on your individual condition, we may recommend surgery alone, or a combination of treatments. Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy in oral, injection, intravenous (IV), or topical form.
You also may need radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells with less damage to healthy tissue. Henry Ford is among the most experienced programs in the country for stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) -- we were the first in Michigan to use this technique.
We offer external beam radiation therapy for anal cancer. This procedure delivers radiation from a device outside the body.
Our radiation treatments include:
An ostomy is an opening created through surgery to allow waste to be removed without passing through the colon, rectum, or anus. Instead, waste collects in a bag to be disposed of.
If you need a permanent or temporary ostomy, our nurse practitioner will meet with you privately to help you understand how to care for your ostomy and to answer your questions.