Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the anal canal. This canal is a short tube that leads from the rectum to outside the body. It is through the pipe stool exits the body. In other words, the anal canal is the distal part of the gastrointestinal tract. However, it’s important not to confuse this disease with colorectal cancer. This disease is a squamous cell carcinoma. It is mostly associated with human papillomavirus. There are several types of anal cancer. They include adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, sarcoma and melanoma. Some of the signs and symptoms of anal cancer include bleeding from the anal region. Patients also complain of pain in the anal area. There might also be a noticeable growth in the anal canal. Another common symptom is that patients might complain of itching in the anus. The exact cause of this disease is not known yet, however, some conditions have been identified to lead to the development of the disease. Some of these conditions include genetics. A mutation in one of the genes leads to the abnormal growth of cells. These cells grow faster than normal, and also have the ability to spread from the anus to other parts of the body. Physicians do buy stem cells online for the treatment of this disease
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Anal Cancer?
Patients affected by anal cancer do present with some signs and symptoms. These symptoms do not present until late in the progression of the disease. Below are some of them;
- Bleeding: Patients do lose a lot of blood. This occurs as a result of bleeding from the anus, or the rectum.
- Anaemia: This is a condition in which an individual doesn’t have enough haemoglobin in the body. This occurs because of the consistent loss of blood through bleeding. The patient might present with iron deficiency anaemia.
- Tumour growth: Patient might feel a growth in his/her anal canal. This might affect the way patients pass out stool. Basically, the tumour growth makes defecation more difficult.
- Pain: Patient does complain of pain in their anal canal. This is because of the presence of a tumour.
- Anal itching: This is also a common symptom of people affected by anal cancer.
When Should You See A Physician?
It’s important to go see a doctor when you start noticing the signs and symptoms above. As with all diseases, the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.
What Are The Causes Of Anal Cancer?
The exact cause of anal cancer isn’t known yet, however, there are some factors that play a role in the development of the disease. An important factor is a genetics. This disease occurs when a genetic mutation alters a normal cell to an abnormal cell. These cells are malignant in nature and have the ability to proliferate faster than the normal cells. These cells would aggregate together to form a tumour. In addition, they also have the ability to spread from one part of the body to another. This process is known as metastasis. Anal cancer has also been closely linked to infections. The human papillomavirus is one of such infection. According to studies, the human papillomavirus is detected in most cases of anal cancer. It has been identified as the most common cause of anal cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors For Anal Cancer?
Risk factors are conditions that increase the chances of developing anal cancer. Below are some of the factors;
- Age: Anal cancer tends to occur in older adults, especially people above the age of 50 years old.
- Anal sex: People who partake in anal sex have a higher chance of developing anal cancer
- Infection: Human papillomavirus infection increases the risk of having anal cancer significantly. This virus is a sexually transmitted disease. According to studies, the human papillomavirus is detected in most cases of anal cancer
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of developing anal cancer. According to studies, cigarette smoking exposes the individual to about 64 carcinogens. These carcinogens increase the risk of developing anal cancer.
- Past medical history: Individuals who have been affected by a type of cancer in the past have a high risk of developing anal cancer. Some of this types of cancer include cervical and vaginal cancer.
What Are the Complications Of Anal Cancer?
The main complication of anal cancer is that this tumour can spread from the point of origin to other parts of the body. Although this rarely happens, it’s usually difficult to treat when it metastasizes to other parts of the body. The common site it spreads to include the liver and the lungs.
How Can Anal Cancer Be Prevented?
- Vaccination: There are vaccines that protect people against infections that could lead to the development of anal cancer. For example, children are often vaccinated against the human papillomavirus. This would prevent any future occurrence of anal cancer.
- Safe sex: Although, it’s safer to abstain from sex if unmarried. However, if you must have sex, it’s best to engage in safe sex. As this would prevent the patient from having infections such as the human papillomavirus, and even the dreaded HIV. If you must engage in anal sex, then the patient must wear a condom.
- Stop smoking: Cigarette smoking contains a lot of carcinogens. Studies have shown that they contain about 64 of them. This increases the risk of having anal cancer significantly.
How Is Anal Cancer Presently Treated?
The kind of treatment a patient would receive depends on some factors. Some of the factors include the size of a tumour, the staging, and the health status of the patient. However, some of the common treatment procedures include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and so on. Surgery could be done in the initial phase of the disease to remove a tumour. Also, surgery can be done for late-stage anal cancers. This is done as a last resort when the patient has not responded to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Stem Cell Therapy And Anal Cancer
Doctors are looking for ways to identify anal cancer stem cells. These cancer stem cells are responsible for the uncontrolled growth of the tumour cells. There is the hope that this would lead to the development of a permanent stem cell cure for the disease.
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