Finding anal cancer in the early stages and diagnosing it accurately can help improve your chances for successful therapy. We have the most advanced and accurate technology, as well as specialized experts to interpret results.
Anal Cancer Diagnosis
If you have symptoms that may signal anal cancer, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health, your lifestyle, including smoking and drinking habits, and your family history.
One or more of the following tests may be used to find out if you have anal cancer and if it has spread. These tests also may be used to find out if treatment is working.
Imaging tests, which may include :
- ♦ Anoscopy : A short tube with a camera is inserted into the anus and lower rectum. The doctor examines the anus and can biopsy tissue.
- ♦ Proctoscopy: A short tube with a camera is inserted into the anus to the rectum. The doctor examines the anus and can biopsy tissue.
- ♦ Double contrast barium enema (DCBE): Barium is a chemical that allows the bowel lining to show up on an X-ray. You will be given an enema with a barium solution, and then X-rays will be taken.
- ♦ Colonoscopy
- ♦ Virtual colonoscopy or CT (computed tomography) colonoscopy
- ♦ CT or CAT (computed tomography) scans
- ♦ MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
- ♦ PET/CT (positron emission tomography) scans
- ♦ Endo-anal or endorectal ultrasound: An endoscope is inserted into the anus. A probe at the end of the endoscope bounces high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off organs to make an image (sonogram). Also called endosonography.
- ♦ Chest X-Ray
Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy : Anal cancer may spread through the lymph system, and sometimes it is found in lymph nodes. A tiny needle is placed into a lymph node, and cells are removed and looked at with a microscope. A positive lymph node biopsy may help the doctor decide what areas to treat with radiation therapy.
Symptoms & Sings
Anal cancer often does not have symptoms. When it does have symptoms, they vary from person to person. If you have anal cancer symptoms, they may include :
♦ Anal or rectal bleeding
♦ Pain or pressure around the anus
♦ Change in bowel habits
♦ Narrower stool than usual
♦ A lump close to the anus
♦ Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin area
♦ Anal discharge
These symptoms do not always mean you have anal cancer. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms that last more than two weeks with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.
Anal Cancer Staging
If you are diagnosed with anal caner, your doctor will determine the stage of the disease. Staging is a way of talking about how much disease is in the body and where it has spread. This information helps the doctor treat the cancer. Once the staging classification is determined, it stays the same even if treatment is successful or the cancer spreads.
Anal Cancer Stages :
- ♦ Stage I : Cancer has formed. The tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller
- ♦ Stage II : Tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not greater than or equal to 5 centimeters
- ♦ Stage IIIA : Tumor is 5 centimeters or greater and/or has spread to either :
- Lymph nodes near the rectum
- Nearby organs, such as the vagina, urethra or bladder
- ♦ Stage IIIB : Tumor is 5 centimeters or greater and/or may be any size and has spread to :
- Nearby organs and lymph nodes near the rectum
- Lymph nodes on one side of the pelvis and/or groin and may have spread to nearby organs
- Lymph nodes near the rectum and in the groin and/or lymph nodes on both sides of the pelvis and/or groin and may have spread to nearby organs
- ♦ Stage IV : Tumor may be any size and may have spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs and has spread to distant parts of the body
Bone Cancer Facts
Bone cancer is a sarcoma (type of cancerous tumor) that starts in the bone. Other cancers may affect the bones, including :
- ♦ Secondary cancers that metastasize, or spread, from other parts of the body
- ♦ Other types of cancer including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma
This information is about primary bone cancers.
Bones support and give structure to the body. They usually are hollow. The main parts of the bones are :
Matrix is the outer part of bones. It is made of fiber-like tissue and is covered with a layer of tissue called the periosteaum.
Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the space in hollow bones called the medullary cavity. Cells inside bone marrow include :
- ♦ Fat cells
- ♦ Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets
- ♦ Fibroblasts, a type of cell that helps build connective tissue
- ♦ Plasma, in which blood cells are suspended
- ♦ Cartilage is at the end of most bones. It is softer than bone, but it is firmer than soft tissue. Cartilage and other tissues, including ligaments, make up joints, which connect some bones.
- ♦ Bone constantly changes as new bone forms and old bone dissolves. To make new bone, the body deposits calcium into the cartilage. Some of the cartilage stays at the ends of bones to make joints.
Bone Cancer Types
There are several types of bone tumors. They are named according to the area of bone or tissue where they start and the type of cells they contain. Some bone tumors are benign (not cancer), and some are malignant (cancer). Bone cancer also is called sarcoma.
The most commonly found types of primary bone cancer are :
Osteosarcoma or osteogenic sarcoma is the main type of bone cancer. It occurs most often in children and adolescents, and it accounts for about one-fourth of bone cancer in adults. More males than females get this cancer. About 1,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year. It begins in bone cells, usually in the pelvis, arms or legs, especially the area around the knee.
Chondrosarcoma is cancer of cartilage cells. More than 40% of adult bone cancer is chondrosarcoma, making it the most prevalent bone cancer in adults. The average age of diagnosis is 51, and 70% of cases are in patients over 40. Chondrosarcoma tends to be diagnosed at an early stage and often is low grade. Many chondrosarcoma tumors are benign (not cancer). Tumors can develop anywhere in the body where there is cartilage, especially the pelvis, leg or arm.
Ewing’s sarcoma is the second most prevalent blood cancer in children and adolescents, and the third most often found in adults. It accounts for about 8% of bone cancers in adults. Ewing’s sarcoma can start in bones, tissues or organs, especially the pelvis, chest wall, legs or arms.
Less – commonly found types of bone cancer include :
- ♦ Chordoma, which is found in 10% of adult bone cancer cases, usually in the spine and base of the skull
- ♦ Malignant fibrous histiocytoma/fibrosarcoma, which usually starts in connective tissue
- ♦ Fibrosarcoma, which often is benign and found in soft tissue in the leg, arm or jaw
- ♦ Secondary (or metastatic) bone cancer is cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body. This type of bone cancer is more prevalent than primary bone cancer. For more information about this type of cancer, see the type of primary cancer (where the cancer started)