Now that actress Marcia Cross has been in remission from anal cancer for about a year, she has a mission. There is a lot of shame about it. I want it to stop. Cross, who was diagnosed in November , is not the first celebrity to say we need to get over our squeamishness. Actress Farrah Fawcett made a documentary about her harrowing struggle before anal cancer ended her life in But Cross is speaking out at an opportune juncture.
Anal cancer is on the rise, especially in women. Should they be screened?
Anal Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Anal cancer is the term for abnormal cell growth in the anal area or the anal canal. The anal canal connects the anus the opening to the rectum. This passage is about inches long. It is the part of the body that excretes solid waste bowel movements, feces. The disease also is called carcinoma of the anal canal. The anus is the end of the digestive system. The anus is made up of tissue from the skin and from the intestine.
The incidence of anal cancer is higher in women than men in the general population and has been increasing for several decades. Similar to cervical cancer, most anal cancers are associated with human papillomavirus HPV and it is believed that anal cancers are preceded by anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions HSIL. Our goal was to summarize the literature on anal cancer, HSIL and HPV infection in women, and provide screening recommendations in women. Anal HPV infection is common in women but is relatively transient in most. The risk of anal HSIL and cancer varies considerably by risk group, with HIV-infected women and those with a history of lower genital tract neoplasia LGTN at highest risk compared with the general population.
Anal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body and at the end of the GI tract. Sometimes anal cancer causes no symptoms at all. But bleeding is often the first sign of the disease. The bleeding is usually minor.