Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is cancer that occurs in the perianal region and within the anal canal, the short tube at the end of the rectum where stool leaves the body. Other rare types of cancer may also occur in the anal canal, and these require consultation with your physician or surgeon to determine the appropriate evaluation and treatment. Cells that are becoming malignant or "premalignant" but have not invaded deeper into the skin are often referred to as "high grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia" or HGAIN. While this condition is likely a precursor to anal cancer, it is not anal cancer and is treated differently. Your physician or colon and rectal surgeon can help clarify the differences.

There are nearly 6,000 new cases of anal cancer diagnosed each year in the United States, accounting for about 1 to 2 percent of all intestinal cancers. Unlike some cancers, the incidence of anal cancer is increasing.