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Anal Cancer Stages:

June 6th, 2007 by admin

Staging:

 The doctors need to know how far the cancer has spread. There are different stages of cancer. The initial stages are the easiest to deal with because then the disease has not become too perilous. When the doctors detect the stage they can determine what treatment should be done. That is the reason staging is rather important in the treatment process.

The tests can easily diagnose the stage.  There are different ways of staging cancers.The two main ways are the TNM system and number stages.The information you get about the stage of your cancer may sound a bit confusing.  You probably won’t be as familiar with these terms as your doctor is.   If you don’t understand what stage your cancer is, and would like to know more, ask your doctor.

The stages named TNM and its description:
‘TNM’ stands for Tumor, Node, and Metastasis

This staging system can tell you

  • The initial size of the tumor.  (T)
  • Whether there are lymph nodes containing cancer cells (N)
  • Whether the cancer has spread to a different part of the body (M)

The size of the tumor (T)

There are 5 stages of tumor size in the current TNM classification of anal cancer: T1 – T4 and a very early stage called Tis or carcinoma in situ.  Anal cancers are not usually found at this very early stage, as they don’t cause any symptoms when they are so small.

Below is the exact meaning of each T stage for anal cancer

  • Tis or carcinoma in situ – also sometimes also called AIN (anal carcinoma in situ)- is the earliest stage of anal cancer, when the cancer cells are only found inside the lining of the anus and have not spread elsewhere
  • T1 means the tumor measures 2cm across or less
  • T2 means the tumor is larger than 2cm but smaller than 5cm
  •  T3 means the tumor is larger than 5cm
  • T4 means the cancer can be any size, but is growing into the surrounding tissues or organs, such as the urethra, the vagina or bladder

N stages of anal cancer:

The N stage refers to whether any lymph nodes are affected by the cancer.  The N stages are defined as follows

  • N0 means that no lymph nodes contain cancer cells  
  • N1 means there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes closest to the rectum   
  • N2 means the lymph nodes in the pelvis (pelvic nodes) or groin (inguinal nodes) on one side of the body are affected   
  • N3 means that either the nodes near the rectum and nodes in the groin or pelvis contain cancer cells OR the nodes in the pelvis or groin on both sides of the body contain cancer cells

M stages of anal cancer:

The M stage refers to whether there has been spread of the cancer to other organs in the body.  M stages are defined as follows

  • M0 means there is no cancer spread to other organs.   
  • M1 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body, such as the liver.

Determining these is necessary in order to have a clear idea for treatment purposes.

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Following the symptoms, Tests that detect the anal cancer:

June 6th, 2007 by admin

Procedure that should be adopted: once you learn that you are suffering from anal cancer you should not take this lightly but get immediate help. There are cancer hospitals that provide treatments for all sorts of cancers. Cancer is no ordinary disease that you can ignore. You have to find a proper channel through which you get your treatment done. The very first thing that you need to do is visit a doctor for a medical examintaion.

  • Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  •  Digital rectal examination (DRE): An exam of the anus and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
  • Anoscopy: An exam of the anus and lower rectum using a short, lighted tube called an anoscope.
  • Proctoscopy: An exam of the rectum using a short, lighted tube called a proctoscope.
  • Endo-anal or endorectal ultrasound: A procedure in which an ultrasound transducer (probe) is inserted into the anus or rectum and used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram.

Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. If an abnormal area is seen during the anoscopy, a biopsy may be done at that time.

These are a few medical examinations that you need to take. These different tests vary from normal health examinations because cancer cells are not easily detected.If they do not appear in one test then other tests have been created so that if there is cancer it is detected one way or the other. It is advised that people dont make any delay in getting themselves examined if they spot any smptoms of cancer.

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Signs and Symptoms of Anal Cancer:

June 6th, 2007 by admin

Like every other disease in the world there are some symptoms and signs that start to appear incase a person has been victimized by the anal cancer. These signs become apparent gradually and slowly they turn hazardous for the victim. Some of the very common signs of anal cancer are as follows:

 

  • ·                     Bleeding from the anus or rectum.
  • ·                     Pain or pressure in the area around the anus.
  • ·                     Itching or discharge from the anus.
  • ·                     A lump near the anus.
  • ·                     A change in bowel habits.
  • ·                     Any abnormal anal discharge.

In about 50% of cases, the initial symptom of anal cancer is bleeding. Pain is somewhat less common, seen in about 30% of patients presenting with anal cancer; however, it can be quite severe. Occasionally, patients have the sensation of having a mass in the anus and can experience itching or anal discharge. Rarely, in advanced cases, anal cancers can disrupt the function of the anal muscles, resulting in loss of control of bowel movements. In general, these symptoms are vague and non-specific. As a result, in one-half to two-thirds of patients with anal cancer, a delay of up to 6 months occurs between the time when symptoms start and when a diagnosis is made.

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