Anal Cancer Surgery
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Anal cancer surgery is a vital form of treatment to treat the cancer in the anus. Generally, the surgery is recommended for patients suffering from the very initial stages of cancer. Surgery can also be done in combination with the chemical or radiation treatment if the cancerous tumors need to be curbed urgently. Survival rate of anal cancer patients who undergo surgery in the early stages has been consistently on rise.
What is anal cancer surgery?
Surgery for anal cancer mainly deals with the removal of cancerous tumors in the anus by surgical methods. In the anal cancer, the malignant cells primarily target the mucosa and penetrate into other areas once they find the conditions to be viable for metastasis. Anal cancer can be primary or secondary in nature. The mode of surgery is different in primary and secondary cancer and depends essentially on the area of origin of the cancerous cells.
In the primary anal cancer, the malignant cells develop in the anus itself and infect other areas in a gradual manner. While in the secondary tumor, the malignant cells are generated in other parts of the body and reach the anus after a considerable increase in the intensity of the disease. With passage of time, the tumors generate an ability to metastasize and spread to various areas of the body. The tumor cells get separated from the parent tumor and form other such kinds of tumors in the areas they invade. They use the bloodstream and lymph nodes as a medium to reach the remote areas of the body.
Surgery of the cancerous tumors in the anus can be fruitful if the diagnosis is thorough and reliable. Also, detection of tumors in the early stages can be very helpful in planning out the most feasible line of treatment. Also, the chances of curing the tumors are more if they are detected in time. Curability of the tumor by surgery directly depends on the intensity of metastasis of malignant cells.
Tumors are of two main types as cancerous and benign. Chances of curing the benign tumors by the mode of surgery are much higher as compared to the cancerous ones. Also, benign tumors show a rare tendency to recur while the cancerous tumors can redevelop quite easily.
How is anal cancer surgery done?
Detection and diagnosis of anal cancer is the most primary stage in undergoing surgery on cancer in the anus. Some of the basic techniques like X-rays, positron emission tomography (PET) test, biopsy, digital rectal exam (DRE) and computed tomography (CT) scan are useful in detecting the presence of tumors. Proper and timely detection helps in correct diagnosis of the disease. Type of surgery to be undergone also depends upon the behavior and intensity of tumors. If the intensity is high and the tumors have already spread to different areas of the body, a harsh treatment is necessary. Harsh treatments usually use radiations, chemicals and surgical methods simultaneously as the primary goal is to control tumors.
Surgery can be of two important types as local resection and abdominoperineal resection. Local resection is quite helpful in removing tumors that develop in the lower section of the anus. Tumor, along with some adjacent healthy tissues, is cut directly from the anus to avoid its further development. In abdominoperineal resection, the anus, some portion of the sigmoid colon and the rectum are removed followed by a treatment called colostomy. Colostomy is an arrangement in which the end of the intestine of victim's body is sewed to stoma (an opening made on the abdominal surface). The arrangement is done to enable the patient to pass out the body waste in a convenient manner. In a few cases, the lymph nodes infected by cancerous cells are also removed to avoid further metastasis.
What is the right time to undergo anal cancer surgery?
Skin irritations in the anal areas, unnatural bleeding and discharge from the anus and anal infections that do not heal by normal medication are the most basic indications of the formation of tumors. Medical examinations such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, endoanal ultrasound, endoscopy, biopsy and ultrasound are highly beneficial in detecting the presence of tumors and determining their behavior.
Early detection of tumors minimizes the side effects of the cancer treatment to a considerable extent. Any kind of ulcer in the anus, anal pain, abdominal pain or improper movement of bowels must be diagnosed thoroughly. Presence of even the minute tumors is bad for anal health and must be removed by surgery. A person facing problems or severe pains in the passage of stools must consult a physician immediately. This is the right time to cure anal cancer, if any, by the mode of surgery and is very advantageous in the long run. Early elimination of tumors by surgery also minimizes its chances of regeneration and enables the victim to lead a normal life.
Anal cancer surgery is one of the most common forms of treatments worldwide and has a good reputation of curing the cancer in the anus. Surgery helps in complete removal of tumor without causing any severe damage to any vital organs or body tissues and cells. Also, the recovery of a patient who has undergone surgery is quite faster than the ones treated with chemicals or radiation treatment. Various breakthroughs for anal cancer have been found reliable and fruitful to treat the disease with ease.