Carcinoma of the Anus (Anal Cancer)

Cancers of the anus (anal cancer) or anal canal are usually of the squamous cell type.
That is like cells of the skin rather than cells from the lining of the bowel which are glandular type and called adenocarcinoma.

They are much less common than bowel cancer.

Before development they may be microscopic in size (carcinoma in situ).  These are readily removed by local excision with complete cure.

They present as a lump or ulcer with discomfort and blood.  When advanced they tend to spread to the lymph glands in the groin rather than lymph glands in the abdomen.

Biopsy is required to differentiate this from other conditions such as:
– anal warts
– anal fissure
– pruritis ani
– Crohn’s disease of anus
– non specific ulcer
– basal cell cancer
– carcinoma complicating a fistula


local excision – if not too large. This avoids damaging the underlying sphincters
for larger lesions more radical surgery may be required including removal of bowel