The inner lining of the anal canal is the mucosa. Most anal cancers start from cells in the mucosa. Glands and ducts tubes leading from the glands are found under the mucosa. The glands make mucus, which acts as a lubricating fluid. Anal cancers that start from cells in the glands are called adenocarcinomas.
What Is Anal Cancer?
All About Anal Cancer | OncoLink
Anal cancer cases have been increasing over several decades. Infection with human papillomavirus HPV is the major risk factor for anal cancer. Explore the links on this page to learn more about anal cancer prevention, treatment, statistics, research, and clinical trials. The information in this section is meant to help you cope with the many issues and concerns that occur when you have cancer.
Anal Cancer: An Overview
Anal cancer is a rare tumor with an incidence that has been rising over the last 25 years. The disease was once thought to develop as a result of chronic irritation, but it is now known that this is not the case. Multiple risk factors, including human papillomavirus HPV infection, anoreceptive intercourse, cigarette smoking, and immunosuppression, have been identified. HIV infection is also associated with anal cancer; there is a higher incidence in HIV-positive patients but the direct relationship between HIV and anal cancer has been difficult to separate from the prevalence of HPV in this population. HIV infection is also associated with anal cancer; there are increasing numbers of HIV-positive patients being diagnosed with the disease.
Radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with nonmetastatic squamous cell anal cancer. Most patients treated with chemoradiotherapy have an excellent prognosis. However, some heterogeneity exists among anal cancer patients in their outcomes.