INCIDENCE AND SYMPTOMS OF ANAL CANCER
Anal cancer is relatively infrequent; it accounts for about 3% of all large intestine tumours and mostly affects women. The average age of diagnosis is 60 years and the incidence increases progressively as the age increases. The appearance may be that of an ulcerated lesion or of a verrucous formation that is more or less pigmented.
It is usually accompanied by a long history of symptoms caused by benign diseases or discomfort that often coexist with the tumour and delay its diagnosis: bleeding, anal irritation, itching. The recognised risk factors are mainly related to sexual habits.
ANAL CANCER: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Essential tests for a correct diagnosis and to clarify the exact extent of the disease are represented by colonoscopy accompanied by multiple biopsies, transanal ultrasound, CT scan of the abdomen with contrast agent and a urogynaecological evaluation. The treatment of anal carcinoma varies according to the type of tumour. The approach is surgical with an alternative of combined radio- and chemotherapy.
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