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Anal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 02/28/2014

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General Information About Anal Cancer

Incidence and Mortality
Prognosis and Survival
Risk Factors



Incidence and Mortality

Estimated new cases and deaths from anal, anal canal, and anorectal cancer in the United States in 2014:[1]

  • New cases: 7,210.
  • Deaths: 950.
Prognosis and Survival

Anal cancer is usually curable. The three major prognostic factors are site (anal canal vs. perianal skin), size (primary tumors <2 cm in size have better prognoses), and nodal status.

Anal cancer is an uncommon malignancy and accounts for only a small percentage (4%) of all cancers of the lower alimentary tract. Clinical trials such as EST-7283R, for example, have evaluated the roles of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery in the treatment of this disease.[2,3] Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Risk Factors

Overall, the risk of anal cancer is rising with data suggesting that persons engaging in certain sexual practices, such as receptive anal intercourse, or persons with a high lifetime number of sexual partners are at an increased risk of anal cancer. These practices may have led to an increase in the number of individuals at risk for infection with human papillomavirus (HPV); HPV infection is strongly associated with anal cancer development and may be a necessary step in its carcinogenesis.[4-7]

References
  1. American Cancer Society.: Cancer Facts and Figures 2014. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2014. Available online. Last accessed March 26, 2014. 

  2. Martenson JA, Lipsitz SR, Lefkopoulou M, et al.: Results of combined modality therapy for patients with anal cancer (E7283). An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study. Cancer 76 (10): 1731-6, 1995.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Fuchshuber PR, Rodriguez-Bigas M, Weber T, et al.: Anal canal and perianal epidermoid cancers. J Am Coll Surg 185 (5): 494-505, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  4. Johnson LG, Madeleine MM, Newcomer LM, et al.: Anal cancer incidence and survival: the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results experience, 1973-2000. Cancer 101 (2): 281-8, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  5. Daling JR, Weiss NS, Hislop TG, et al.: Sexual practices, sexually transmitted diseases, and the incidence of anal cancer. N Engl J Med 317 (16): 973-7, 1987.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  6. Palefsky JM, Holly EA, Gonzales J, et al.: Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in anal intraepithelial neoplasia and anal cancer. Cancer Res 51 (3): 1014-9, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  7. Ryan DP, Compton CC, Mayer RJ: Carcinoma of the anal canal. N Engl J Med 342 (11): 792-800, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]