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Anal Cancer Treatment Options Expand With Early Detection

Anal cancer treatment options are generally effective, giving patients who are diagnosed with this disease a relatively good prognosis compared to other types of cancer. But a good prognosis depends largely on early detection of cancer.

At Tampa General Hospital, we encourage anyone who thinks they may be experiencing anal cancer symptoms to make an appointment and get screened for cancer. Early detection helps us recommend treatments that will be most effective!

What Determines A Treatment Plan?

If you’re diagnosed with anal cancer, your treatment options could vary. Factors that could influence the treatments your TGH care team recommends include:

  • Your current state of health
  • Whether you’re infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • The stage of your cancer (based on size and spread of tumor)
  • The location of tumor(s)
  • Whether this is your first time with cancer or if you’ve had cancer before

Treatment Options

When anal cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, especially before the spread of any tumors, radiation and chemotherapy are typically successfully at eliminating the cancer. Other non-surgical treatment methods may also be recommended initially, but surgery may be performed on cancers that do not respond to radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some surgical options include:

  • Transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) – A surgeon laparoscopically removes the cancer and a small amount of surrounding tissues in the anus. TGH is the only hospital in the Tampa Bay area to offer this procedure.
  • Abdominoperineal resection – This procedure is more extensive, involving removal of the anal canal, rectum and a part of the colon. An ostomy (or bag) is typically required.

Tampa General Hospital’s multispecialty team meets every other week to review treatment plans for each cancer patient. We always prioritize using minimally invasive techniques in treating any cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, including anal cancer. Opting for less invasive anal cancer treatment methods, when warranted, helps us improve the outcomes for our patients.

To learn more about anal cancer treatment, or for a physician referral, please use our Physician Finder tool. You can also call 813-844-7585.