What Is Anal Cancer?
This type of cancer usually develops in the opening of the anus (rectum) from a lump which is created by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the anus. Even though this type of cancer is not very common, in most of the cases it is overlooked, because the symptoms that occur in this type of cancer are too embarrassing to discuss.
At this point you should know that colorectal and anal cancer are two different types of cancer. Namely the anal cancer affects only the opening of the anus or the rectum, while the colorectal cancer affects the colon and the entire rectum.
You should also know the terrible statistic about the anal cancer. What we are trying to say is that approximately 8,000 Americans are affected by this type of cancer every year, and 1,000 of them die each year. What’s even worse, one in four people is diagnosed with this cancer only after it spreads to the lymph nodes, and one in ten people is diagnoses after the cancer has metastasized to other organs. The bad thing is that this type of cancer has been on the rise in recent years. However you should know that it is still rarer than colorectal, rectal or colon cancer.
Anal Cancer Symptoms
The crucial thing for a successful treatment of this type of cancer is the early detection. However sometimes this is not that easy, because in some cases the symptoms are not always present. Nevertheless you should never ignore these symptoms:
● Itching in the anus
● Tenderness or pain in the anus
● Unusual bowel movements
● Anal bleeding
● Unusual discharge from the anus
● A hardened area or a lump near the anus
Now you should also know that the exact causes of anal cancer still remain unknown. Many scientists claim that some of contributing factors are a weakened immune system, smoking, and frequent anus irritation. Also you should know that this type of cancer usually affects adults over 60. In addition, you should know that men under 35 and women over 60 are also at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
How to Detect Anal Cancer in Its Early Stage
As we already said, the key to a successful treatment of this type of cancer is the early detection.At this point you also need to know that the traditional medicine offers many different methods that will help you to detect anal cancer. Some of those methods are:
Digital Rectal Exam:during this procedure a doctor will examine the anal cavity with his fingers looking for any abnormalities or lumps in the anus.
Anoscopy:This method will surely give a clearer view of the inside of your anus. Namely for this procedure the doctor will insert a small tubular instrument in your anus. In most of the cases this test is done after the doctor has found any abnormalities during the digital rectal exam.
There are also many different methods that will help you detect the anal cancer in it early stage. Some of those methods are: PET scans, MRIs, CT scans, x-rays, ultrasounds and biopsies. Many people find these tests controversial and will not take them, and this is the number one reason why this cancer spreads.