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Anal Cancer

Progressive Surgical Care

Colorectal Surgeons and General Surgeons located in Howard Beach, Queens & New Hyde Park, Long Island

Over 8,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with anal cancer each year. The providers at Progressive Surgical Care, with New York offices in Forest Hills, New Hyde Park, Long Island and Howard Beach, Queens, have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating this rare form of cancer. For an evaluation and expert consultation, call to schedule an appointment with the office nearest you today.

Anal Cancer Q & A

What’s anal cancer?

Anal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells of the anal tissue. Anal tissue is in the anus, which is below the rectum at the end of the digestive system. Stool from the intestines exits the body through the anus, which includes a sphincter that both prevents stool from leaking and allows stool to pass.

Anal cancer is an uncommon type of cancer. The most common type of anal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which is usually treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and occasionally, surgery.

What causes anal cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for over 90% of all cases of anal cancer. HPV lives on the skin and spreads by skin-to-skin contact. HPV is the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease and can be spread by sexual and nonsexual contact.

You can be at increased risk of anal cancer if you:

  • Have HPV
  • Are a smoker
  • Are over 50 years old
  • Are an uncircumcised male
  • Have a suppressed immune system
  • Have a history of cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer
  • Have a history of genital or anal warts
  • Have unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners
  • Engage in anal sex

Cancerous cells of the anal tissue mutate and accumulate, which causes tumors and the spread of cancer cells throughout the body. HPV and HPV-related conditions, such as anal warts and some cancers, increase the potential of cancerous cells forming.

What are the symptoms of anal cancer?

Symptoms of anal cancer include:

  • Rectal or anal bleeding
  • Anal pain during and after passing stool
  • A growth or mass in the anus
  • Anal itching

If you have these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention for an expert evaluation. If you have anal cancer or risk factors like anal warts, the providers at Progressive Surgical Care can provide compassionate, quality treatment.

How’s anal cancer diagnosed and treated?

Anal cancer is usually diagnosed using a series of diagnostic tests, including:

  • Surgical Biopsy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Biopsy or laboratory testing of the anal tissue
  • Colonoscopy, which can be done in the office

Treatment usually includes a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, and may require surgery to remove cancerous tumors, affected lymph nodes, and/or diseased sections of the rectum and/or anus.

Tumors within the anal canal are usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation while tumors outside and around the anus are treated surgically.  Recurrent tumors are also treated surgically.

If you need surgery to treat your anal cancer, you can trust the providers at Progressive Surgical Care to offer up-to-date treatment that gives you the best chance of beating your disease and avoiding a colostomy.

For an expert consultation about next steps to treating your anal cancer, call or schedule an appointment online today with Progressive Surgical Care.