If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with anal cancer, you are probably feeling extremely stressed out and confused. Many individuals leave the initial doctor’s visit in a fog. They have no clue what their diagnosis means. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with, you are afraid a diagnosis is a possibility, here is some critical to help you understand the diagnosis.
Is it Common?
Many individuals are unaware of the fact that anal cancer is rare. It begins in the anus. For those who are unaware, the anus is the medical term used for the opening that is found at the end of the rectum. In 2014, it was predicted that little over seven thousand individuals would be diagnosed with anal cancer and it was predicted that nine-hundred and fifty of those would result in death. Compare this to the predictions for colorectal cancer. In 2014, it was predicted that over one hundred and thirty-six thousand individuals would be diagnosed with anal cancer and over fifty thousand of those would result in death.
What are the odds?
About half of diagnosis of anal cancer occurs before cancer can spread. Around thirteen to twenty-five percent of diagnosis has spread to the lymph nodes. Only ten percent of all cases are found after the cancer has spread throughout the organs or diagnosed after the cancer has metalized. The good news is that anal cancer is normally found in the early stages. This means that the chances for successful treatment are very high. In fact, the survival rate for this type of cancer is around sixty percent for mean and approximately seventy-one percent for women.
When the cancer is found in the beginning, the survival rate is over eighty percent. If the cancer is found after spreading to the lymph nodes, the survival rate is around sixty percent. Once cancer reaches the organ, around one in every five patients live at least five years, if not longer.
Who is at Risk?
You may be wondering if you or someone that you love could be at risk for anal cancer. Around eighty percent of cases of anal cancer are diagnosed in individuals that are at least sixty-five years of age. When anal cancer is diagnosed before the age of thirty-five, it is primarily found in men. When anal cancer is diagnosed after the age of fifty, it is more common in women.
When you compare a number of single men with a number of men who are married that are diagnosed with anal cancer, it is found that single men are six times more likely to receive a diagnosis. It has also been found that engaging in the receiving part of anal intercourse plays a part in the development of this type of cancer. HPV or human papillomavirus is a risk factor. Individuals with this virus have a higher chance of being diagnosed with anal cancer. For those that may be unaware of what HPV is, it is a virus that results in genital warts.
Individuals who have a diagnosis that means that their immune system has been compromised in some way, such as HIVs, are likely to end up with anal cancer. The prognosis for this group is a lot more severe than individuals that have not had their immune system compromised in some way.
What to do?
If you think that you or a loved one may have anal cancer, you need to make an appointment with your doctor immediately. The sooner that you or your loved one are diagnosed and begin treatment, the better your chances will be to fight cancer. If you have a loved one that has been recently diagnosed with cancer, you want to make sure that you are patient with them and realize that they just got some scary news themselves. Allow them some time to process the news before you begin asking them a bunch of questions. If you have recently been diagnosed, you should take a few days to process and then tell your friends and family. You do not want to wait to tell your friends and family because you are going to need them in the days to come.