Introduction: What is Anal Cancer?
The anus is the end of the large intestine through which the stool leaves the body. When healthy cells in the anus start growing and multiplying uncontrollably, it is called anal cancer. Most anal cancers result from the human papillomavirus or HPV infection. Anal cancer can begin in any part of the anus. Some common symptoms of anal cancer include–
- Bleeding and mucus discharge from the anus
- Itching or pain around the anus
- Lumps or growth inside the anus
- Loss of bowel control
People with a history of vulvar or vaginal are at a higher risk of developing this condition. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit your doctor immediately. A complete medical history, physical examination, and digital rectal examination (DRE) are used to diagnose anal cancer.
How Is Anal Cancer Treated?
Your anal cancer treatment options depend upon several factors, including:
- Cancer type
- Its stage and grade
- Location of the tumour in the anus
- Whether you have HIV or not
- Whether the cancer is newly diagnosed or has recurred
- Size of the cancer
- Extent of spread
- Your age and overall health
The primary treatment for anal cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy (called chemoradiation), and surgery. Other newer therapies used in anal cancer treatment include radiosensitisers and immunotherapy.
Surgery may be used to treat anal cancers in some people if:
- The tumour is small and has not spread
- Chemoradiation does not get rid of all cancer, and there is a risk of recurrence
- They are not a candidate for radiation therapy
Only the cancerous part of the anus and sometimes the affected part of the rectum are removed during surgery.
Chemotherapy drugs may be given orally or injected into a vein to reach the cancer cells. Several chemotherapy drugs are used to treat anal cancer, but your doctor will decide the right drug or combination of drugs for you. Chemotherapy is associated with some side effects, the most common ones being nausea, vomiting, hair loss, diarrhoea and mouth sores.
Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to damage or kill cancer cells, stopping tumour growth. Radiation therapy is of two types:
- External radiation
- Internal radiation
The type of radiation chosen for you depends upon the type and stage of your cancer. Both internal and external radiation therapies are used to treat anal cancers.
A combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, called chemoradiation, is routinely used to treat anal cancers that have not spread.
How Can Klarity Oncology Help?
Finding the right doctor and care is vital if you have been diagnosed with anal cancer. At Klarity Oncology, we understand the complexity of cancer care and aim to make all cancer services accessible. From booking appointments with the top specialists near you to getting you a second opinion from an expert in anal cancer, we are here for you!
Anal Cancer Treatment Cost in the UK
With a rise in the number of HPV infections, the incidence of anal cancer has also been on the rise. Anal cancer treatment cost in the UK is at par with other European countries and the United States. However, the treatment cost is influenced by multiple factors, including the stage and spread of your cancer and the presence of comorbidities or other pre-existing health conditions.
How is Anal Cancer Treatment Cost Calculated?
Anal cancer treatment cost varies for each patient, depending on:
- The type and stage of cancer
- Spread of cancer
- Medical history and existing health conditions
- Diagnostic tests
- Treatment plan
- Lab tests that are required to monitor treatment progress
- Doctor charges
- City in the UK
- Location of the care centre/hospital in a city
- Experience and skill of the oncologist and healthcare team
The cost of anal cancer treatment may change during your treatment if you need any additional procedures other than those recommended initially. If you have any queries or questions about your anal cancer treatment plan, side effects, cost of treatment or its outcome, speak to your doctor.
Talk to Us
Diagnosing anal cancer can be difficult, but with the proper treatment and care, you can look forward to positive outcomes. If you need help with your diagnosis, treatment plan or a second opinion from another specialist, talk to us now!