Anal Cancer - Diagnosis and Treatment for Anal Cancer

How to Diagnose Anal Cancer?

The diagnosis of any type of cancer starts with a series of tests conducted by the doctor. The same goes for an anal cancer diagnosis. These tests help the physician learn about the stage of cancer and the extent to which it has metastasized.

Also, these tests help a doctor determine the area where the cancer has started, which plays a major role in deciding the treatment line. Doctors perform various tests for the diagnosis of anal carcinoma.

The tests conducted for anal cancer diagnosis depend on some essential factors. These factors are the patient's symptoms, the patient's age and complete health overview, the kind of cancer suspected in a patient, and the results of some medical tests.

Here are some crucial tests healthcare providers conduct to check whether a patient is suffering from the said cancer and anal cancer types.

Medical history and physical exam

If the patient suffers from any of the symptoms of anal carcinoma, a quick assessment of the patient’s medical history and physical examination are recommended as part of the initial anal cancer diagnosis.

The medical history assessment involves looking for risk factors, hints about the patient's immune system, and signs of any other health problems.

After recording the medical history, the physicians move on to conducting a physical exam to check for any signs of cancer. These physical exams include a rectal exam, a pelvic exam, and a pap test (in women).

These tests indicate whether there are any lumps or lymph nodes in the body in addition to other symptoms. If these basic tests show some issues, the doctors then perform elaborate tests to confirm the anal cancer diagnosis and disease staging.

Here are some of the detailed tests conducted for anal cancer staging:

What are the Treatments for Anal Cancer?

Treatment for anal cancer depends upon the stage of the cancer, the patient's immune health, lifestyle changes, and the causes of anal cancer. Here are the most commonly recommended treatment options for anal cancer:

Treatment of Anal Cancer According to Stages

Here are the different treatments adopted as per the stages of cancer of the anus:

Diet After Anal Cancer Treatment

The patients may have to change their eating habits after the treatment. Here are the dietary recommendations after the treatment.

Diet After Surgery

The diet depends on the line of treatment you have received for the cancer. If the patient has undergone surgery for the removal of the anal canal, rectum, and colon, he may not be allowed to eat immediately after the operation. The doctor would advise you to eat nothing of the sort that can upset your stomach, as it can affect your bowel movements.

Eat small meals often

Eating small meals in small portions would ensure that the body is getting enough vitamins, energy, and proteins and that bowel movements are not altered. Eating small portions also helps with after-surgery symptoms, such as nausea.

Eat more protein

Eating more proteins is recommended for patients after the treatment as it helps the body regain its energy levels.

Foods that can cause wind

Eat foods that are rich in fiber and fats, such as vegetables, fruits, cabbage, onions, etc., as this helps regulate your bowel movements after the surgery.

Seeing a dietitian

Seeing a dietitian is a must after cancer treatment so that you do not eat anything that can mess up the already fragile immune system of your body.

Diet After Radiotherapy

Eat more food items that have soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, bananas, pears, etc. Also, the patients are recommended to have more liquids and proteins to get the energy they need to fight against any side effects of radiation therapy.

Diet After Chemotherapy

Following chemotherapy for cancer of the anal canal, the patients are recommended to have a rich-fiber diet, which includes vegetables, fruits, and dried beans. Also, the patient is recommended to have 25 grams of dietary fiber per day, along with proteins.

How to Prepare for Anal Cancer Diagnosis?

The first line of preparation is making an appointment with your doctor in case of any symptoms. If the doctor finds the symptoms to be related to anal carcinoma, he would further recommend you see a specialist.

Why Choose HCG for Diagnosis and Treatment for Anal Cancer?

HCG has an assembly of specially trained professionals and doctors for diagnosing and training anal cancer. In addition, HCG's extensive experience in handling patients of all stages of anal tumors and cancer makes them stand apart from the crowd

Frequently Asked Questions

The duration of treatment for anal cancer depends upon the extent of the cancer's spread in the patient's body. Depending on the severity of the disease, the doctor will devise a treatment plan, and the treatment may last for a few weeks or months.

It is possible to treat localized or stage 1 anal cancer successfully. Thus, it is advisable to see your physician as soon as you start getting symptoms.

Stage 4 cancer is uncurable if it has reached this stage, as it means that the cancerous cells have spread to major organs such as the liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. However, it is possible to manage stage 4 anal cancer with multimodal treatment approaches. These approaches help delay disease progression and prolong survival.

The risk of anal cancer returning or relapsing depends on various factors, which include the stage at which cancer was diagnosed and treated the first time, the treatment administered, and the patient’s health status.

During the first time, if the anal cancer was diagnosed and treated in the advanced stage, the risk of recurrence is higher.

In most cases, anal cancer recurs within the first two years after treatment; nonetheless, it can occur at any time.

In many cases, hemorrhoids and cancer present with symptoms, due to which the patients tend to ignore the symptoms. This may eventually lead to delayed diagnosis and poor clinical outcomes.

Rectal pain, itching, and bleeding are the early signs of anal cancer, and you should see a doctor if you are experiencing them.

In general, any abnormalities associated with your health should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately, as this supports early detection and timely treatment.

TWhen anal cancer is left untreated, it starts spreading to nearby and distant organs. As the disease progresses, its treatment becomes more challenging, and the survival rates are also poor.

Early detection, therefore, plays a significant role in cancer management. It is important not to ignore any symptoms and to take appropriate action whenever necessary.

Side effects due to anal cancer treatment may vary from one patient to another. Some may experience very mild side effects, while others may experience moderate to severe side effects.

The potential side effects associated with anal cancer treatment include diarrhea, anal irritation and pain, hampered bowel movements, discomfort during bowel movements, tiredness, nausea, constipation, skin changes, low blood cell count, loss of appetite, hair loss, etc.