Anal cancer isn't that common, but it could leave you facing major surgery, and in some cases, it may be life-threatening. If you're worried that you might have anal cancer, experienced colorectal surgeon Robert Yavrouian, MD, can give you a prompt diagnosis and provide effective treatments at his offices in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles and Glendale, California. Don't take any chances with anal cancer. Call the nearest office of Dr. Robert Yavrouian today or schedule a consultation online.
Anal cancer is an uncommon kind of cancer that affects your anal canal – the area between your rectum and anus.
Anal cancer results from a genetic mutation in the tissues of your anal canal that causes healthy cells to become malignant. Cancer cells don't die like normal cells but do multiply quickly to form a growth or tumor.
Cancer cells may spread (metastasize) to other parts of your body, although this isn't common with anal cancer. Should it travel to somewhere like your lungs or liver, anal cancer can be particularly difficult to treat.
Anal cancer causes symptoms such as:
You might also be able to feel a lump in your anal canal.
An STD called human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of anal cancer. There are numerous types of HPV, including ones that cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
If you engage in higher-risk activities, such as frequent anal intercourse with multiple sexual partners, you're at greater risk of contracting HPV and more likely to get anal cancer.
Other factors that increase your risk of anal cancer include your age (anal cancer is more common in people over 50), taking immunosuppressive drugs for HIV or cancer, and smoking.
One approach to treating anal cancer is to combine chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The drugs used in chemotherapy destroy the anal cancer cells but can also kill other healthy cells, resulting in unpleasant side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting.
Radiation therapy also kills anal cancer cells but uses X-ray and proton energy rather than drugs. You might experience soreness in your anal canal and a degree of tissue damage following radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy typically require a five- or six-week treatment cycle to be effective against anal cancer.
Dr. Yavrouian is an expert in performing surgery for anal cancer. He removes small tumors along with some surrounding tissue to make sure there are no cancer cells remaining.
Advanced anal cancer that isn't responding to chemotherapy and radiation therapy might result in the need for an abdominoperineal (AP) resection. To perform AP resection, Dr. Yavrouian removes your anal canal, rectum, and part of your colon. He also makes a hole called a stoma through which waste can exit your body into a colostomy bag.
If you notice any symptoms of anal cancer, contact Dr. Robert Yavrouian without delay for prompt diagnosis and treatment. Call one of his offices or book an appointment online today.