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Anal Cancer: Treatment

Anal cancers are treated depending on the stage of the tumor. Treatment plans may include one or more forms of treatment in combination.

There are two main types of surgery used to treat anal cancer; local resection and abdominoperineal resection. Local resection is the removal of the tumor from the anus along with some of the surrounding healthy tissue. This type of surgery may allow patients to retain control of their bowels and is used if the cancer is small and has not spread.

Abdominoperineal resection is used for more advanced anal cancers and is the removal of the anus, the rectum, and part of the colon. This type of surgery requires the patient use a colostomy bag because they can no longer control their bowels. Lymph nodes may also be removed during this procedure.

Radiation is the use of high energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. Physicians may use radiation by itself to treat anal tumors or to shrink tumors before surgery. Radiation therapy is given based on the stage of the tumor.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Physicians give these drugs based on the stage of the tumor. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery to treat cancer.

Learn more about Anal Cancer Clinical Trials