Anal Cancer Treated by Board Certified Cancer Doctors in Baltimore

Medical Oncology at Mercy - Baltimore

At Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy, our team of Board Certified doctors works closely with their patients to make a total assessment of a patient’s condition and to determine the best treatment options. Our medical oncologists treat a wide range of medical conditions including anal cancer.

About the Condition

Anal cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the anal canal, located near the end of your rectum. Anal cancer develops when healthy cells grow at an abnormal rate and then develop into a tumor or a mass. 

Anal cancer has been linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is found in a large number of anal cancers and it is the most common source. 

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Because anal cancer symptoms are similar to other common conditions like hemorrhoids, patients tend to put off seeing the doctor in a timely manner. When diagnosed at an early stage anal cancer is treatable. Anal cancer symptoms may include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Anal pain
  • A tumor or mass in the anal canal
  • Irritated itching in the anal area

The doctor will perform a physical exam and obtain a thorough medical history. The exam may include several tests:

  • Digital exam of the rectum or anal canal
  • Endoscopy exam
  • Ultrasound to create a picture to see if there is any abnormality
  • Biopsy to determine if cells are cancerous

When the doctor confirms the diagnosis of anal cancer, the doctor then will determine the stage of your cancer. To determine the stage of cancer, the doctor will perform additional tests and procedures to see if the cancer has spread.  These tests may include:

  • CT
  • PET
  • MRI
  • Chest X-ray
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Many factors are used to determine the best treatment option for anal cancer. The doctor will take into account general health, the stage of anal cancer and a patient’s personal preference when recommending treatment options.

Usually, the treatment option for anal cancer is chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Your doctor may recommend surgery along with the chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment. 

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