Know More About Anal Cancer
The body organ primarily affected during this disease is the anal canal. It is a small tube at the end of the rectum that facilitates the removal of stools from the body. Usually, the cells present and the anal Canal start dividing uncontrollably that leading to the development of anal cancer.
As the disease progresses, the symptoms like pain and bleeding can be observed in an individual. the tumor cells are generally malignant; that is, they hold the potential to spread to other parts of the body as well. The treatment and recovery are determined by the complexity of the disease.
- Anal cancer is a result of genetic mutation that directs the normal healthy cells towards abnormality. Unlike normal healthy cells, cancer cells do not grow and multiply at a fixed rate. The DNA instructs the cells to divide repeatedly and uncontrollably, which leads to the formation of tumors.
- Majority of the anal cancers are diagnosed in people aged above 60 years.
- Individuals dealing with sexually transmitted diseases or virus-like human papillomavirus (HPV) are at an increased risk of developing anal cancer.
- For people who is immunity levels have been reduced due to infections like HIV, the risk of developing anal cancer is enhanced.
Types of anal cancer
Carcinoma in situ
It is the stage of the precancerous cell where the surface cells of the anal canal are affected. It is a much early stage and termed Bowen’s disease as well.
Squamous cell cancer
Squamous cell cancer occurs in the cells present in the lining of the anus. This is the most commonly occurring anal cancer.
This type of cancer occurs in the glands present around the anus.
starts developing when cancer has reached advanced stages, and melanoma and basal cell are also involved.
Signs and Symptoms
- The primary symptoms could be anal itching followed by the formation of hemorrhoids that might be bleeding.
- There could be an unusual discharge from the anus, along with pain or pressure being experienced by the patient.
- The patient might be experiencing a change in bowel habits.
- The individual can also feel a lump near the anus. The doctor himself will usually examine this.
The diagnosis procedures for anal cancer are as follows.
Usually, the physician examines the rectum and anal Canal for the presence of any abnormalities. The digital rectal exam is helpful in identifying any kind of growths or tumors.
The use of an anoscope can also be done by the physician to inspect the rectum and anal canal visually. The anoscope is usually a short-lighted tube that is inserted inside the organs to get better details.
Usually, an ultrasound is performed by the doctor through the insertion of a probe through the anal canal and rectum. The pro produces high-energy sound waves that are responsible for getting a picture of the affected organs.
If an infectious area is diagnosed, the doctor can take a small sample which is then analyzed for the presence of tumor cells or any infections.
Side effects of treatments
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy make a person feel tired and sick most of the time. The risk of infections is increased, and bleeding and bruising can occur easily. The patient can also feel constipation and loss of appetite.
- Radiation therapy may lead to a feeling of nausea and vomiting and various skin changes. Headache and blurry vision are also observed in some people. There could be problems while concentrating, along with some minor memory loss.
- The organs Around the area where surgery is performed can be affected along with the body’s reactions to anesthesia. The chances of formation of blood clots and bleeding are increased after surgery. the body becomes more vulnerable to infections.
- Immunotherapy can lead to issues like nausea, itching, loss of appetite, rashes, constipation, cough, diarrhea, and joint pain. Also when the drugs are injected into the body, some patients might have an infusion reaction.
The treatments for anal cancer are various based on the level of advancement it has reached.
Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy
Usually, the doctor performs these therapies in combination to deal with the disease. The specific chemicals used help to kill the tumor cells, while radiotherapy involves using high-intensity beams or rays or protons that are aimed at the cancer cells to destroy them. The machine directs the radiations towards the affected area while the patient lies still.
Surgery is usually done to treat the early stages of cancer. The small anal cancers are removed by the surgeon along with some of the surrounding healthy tissues to avoid recurrence. This ensures that anal sphincter muscles remain intact and do not undergo any damage.
Sometimes a medical procedure called abdominoperineal surgery is performed when the body does not react to other treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy. During this process, the rectum, anal canal, and a minor portion of the colon are removed. The remaining area is then connected to an opening in the abdomen through which the stones can be removed.
Immunotherapy is performed to boost the immune system of the body and help it find the cancer cells. It is generally administered to people who have reached advanced levels of anal cancer. Usually, the tumor cells produce proteins that are unidentified by the normal cells, which leads to their multiplication.
Supportive or Palliative Care
Supportive care is also provided by the doctors, which involves providing relief from pain and discomfort to the patient. It involves looking for new treatments that could be applied to treat the disease. The specially trained professionals aim to improve the quality of life of the patients.
Why choose Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that believes in natural ways of healing. It uses medicinal herbs that contain several properties important for boosting the body’s immune system and helping people to stay fit. As per the beliefs of Ayurveda, any kind of imbalance in the doshas of the body leads to the development of diseases. It guides and motivates people to follow a healthy lifestyle.
There are several medicinal homes in Ayurveda like ashwagandha that are known to have anti-cancerous properties and help in the prevention of the same. Ashwagandha is considered to be good for the treatment of cancer. also, it is advised to consume the juice of Garlic as it holds certain medicinal properties that restrict the growth of tumor cells.
Consumption of aloe vera is also useful as it is known to cleanse the digestive tract by eliminating the toxins from the body. turmeric is another important ingredient that contains curcumins which are responsible for destroying cancer cells. Consumption of Ayurvedic supplements as directed by the physician helps a lot in reducing the symptoms of the disease.