Anus & perianal area
Carcinoma overview

Topic Completed: 1 January 2015

Minor changes: 5 July 2020

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Anus [title] carcinoma "loattrfree full text"[sb]

Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 504
Page views in 2020 to date: 404
Cite this page: Gonzalez RS. Carcinoma overview. website. Accessed August 3rd, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Carcinoma arising in anus, usually of squamous origin
  • WHO classification includes squamous cell carcinoma, verrucous carcinoma, undifferentiated carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, mucinous adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine tumor and neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Per WHO: anal canal tumor "cannot be seen in its entirety, or at all, when gentle traction is placed on the buttocks" but perianal tumor "is found within a 5 cm radius of the anus and is seen completely when gentle traction is placed on the anus"
Clinical features
  • Symptoms include rectal / anal bleeding, anal pain or itching, change in bowel habits, feeling of a mass at anal opening
  • Annual screening of at risk populations using anal Pap smear appears effective (JAMA 1999;281:1822)
Prognostic factors
  • Surgery alone for small lesions; advanced tumors may also require chemoradiation (5-fluorouracil / mitomycin) (Curr Oncol Rep 2009;11:186)
Differential diagnosis
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