Sometime in August 2017, a team of researchers and scientists at The Christie and The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom have reported a promising medical breakthrough about anal cancer. There is an improvement in the process of detecting anal cancer and also of how to proceed with its treatment. It’s not only centered on anal cancer. This breakthrough can also benefit other types of cancer illnesses.
Statistics on Anal Cancer
Anal cancer is somewhat rare and not that common. It is more likely for a person to develop rectal cancer as compared to anal cancer. As of 2017 in the United States, there were 8,200 new cases of anal cancer. 36% of that is male, and the more significant percentage are women patients. 1,100 people died of anal cancer this year.
It may not be an alarming number. Still, this is a serious condition that needs to be dealt with vigorously. This research by The Christie and The University of Manchester will indeed help save lives. The work of these specialists will be evidence as to how the medical field will move forward on anal cancer detection and treatment systems.
Study on Anal Cancer
Lancet Oncology published the study. It is a journal and forum regarding clinical practices worldwide. The Bowel Disease Research Foundation is responsible for sponsoring this research.
About 10,000 respondents participated in the study. Recent methods of detecting anal cancer were the focus of the research – if it would produce accurate results, assuming the disease has spread to the lymph nodes. They worked with anal cancer centers situated in Leeds and Switzerland.
The point of the study is that if cancer has flowed to the lymph nodes, the survival rate of the cancer patient is meager and the prognosis would be at its worst.
The researchers discovered an overestimation in the assessment of lymph nodes. It also means that the patients receive an excess of medication because of the overestimated lymph nodes evaluation. It can cause terrible side effects and oncologists try to skip it.
This breakthrough is essential for future assessments on anal cancer and treatment systems available for it. By understanding this overstatement, all future work about anal cancer prognosis and treatment will be taken into consideration and for its betterment.
A consultant of the study and professor of the University of Manchester named Andrew Renehan also happens to be the head of Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) Anorectal Organ Preservation Research Group. In an interview, Renehan mentioned that the results of this study had provided enough information to improve care for cancer patients.
He also stressed out that because of the study, anal cancer patients will now be treated as they should be, without overage in their medicine. It will improve the well-being of the patients, their quality of life and ultimately, push them forward to surviving cancer.
Thoughts of an Anal Cancer Survivor
One anal cancer survivor by the name of Jill De Nardo spoke about the side effects she experienced for seven years while in treatment. While she knows that she is lucky to have survived the ordeal, she said that the excruciating discomfort brought about by the overstatement in her meds are almost unbearable, like the chronic joint pain and continence problems. However, she is positive that with the emergence of this study, everything will be prepped accordingly in the future.
Most anal cancer patients, aside from chemo and radiation therapy, resort to counseling. Regain might be able to help.