Definition

Cancer from within the anal canal

Causes

Unknown, although there are several risk factors including HPV infection, genital warts, and immunosuppression.

Symptoms

Most commonly, patients have blood in there stool, anal irritation and drainage. Occasionally, if advanced patients may have weight loss and pelvic pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis depends on physical exam, biopsy and typically imaging.  Depending on the precise location and stage, treatment options include surgical excision or ablation, although the main treatment modality is radiations combined with chemotherapy, labeled the Nigro protocol.  This has a high rate of success.  It is important for patients that have been treated to have close follow up.

Visit the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website for more information