Both its taboo location and being considerably less common than its more well-known counterparts of colon cancer and cancer of the rectum has kept anal cancer on the fringes of the national conversation about cancer.
This translates to more than half a million Americans who at some point will face this serious disease. Though highly treatable, what makes anal cancer a tougher nut to crack than other forms of cancer seems to be its anatomical locale. Adding to the problem is the tendency of potential sufferers to avoid talking about it with their healthcare practitioners out of embarrassment.
Talking about anal cancer might make some people blush, but failure to address it early on can mean a death sentence, which is no laughing matter. This is why advocacy groups have designated March 22 as Anal Cancer Awareness Day. This day is specially set aside to spread the word about anal cancer symptoms, as well as available treatment options and prevention tips.
Anal Cancer Symptoms: Early Detection is Key
Anal cancer symptoms range from general pain and pressure in the anal region during the earlier stages of the disease, as well as itching, unusual discharge from the anus, lumps, swelling, and erratic bowel movements. In more severe cases, anal bleeding is common. Unusual growths such as polyps and warts may also be an indication of anal cancer, though this is not always the case.
Risk factors for anal cancer include frequent anal irritation, cigarette smoking, and compromised immunity. Concerning the latter two, this is one of the many reasons why I’m constantly urging people to quit the tobacco habit and boost their immune systems through healthy diet and appropriate exercise. Doing so could, quite literally, save your life!
Obviously the goal is to lower the risk factors to avoid ever developing these anal cancer symptoms in the first place. But if you do happen to see worrying signs that could indicate the presence of anal cancer, it’s important to get checked out. This will either rule out a diagnosis or get you on track to eradicating the cancer as quickly as possible.
Don’t Be Afraid of Getting Tested for Anal Cancer
If you’re worried that you might have cancer of the anus, there are severalcancer diagnostic approaches you can take. One is to opt for a digital rectal exam, or DRE, which involves a doctor carefully scoping out the anal cavity for lumps or other abnormalities. If any suspicious finds occur during this DRE, the doctor may decide to perform an anoscopy, which involves inserting a small anoscope into the anus to gain clearer visuals of what might be lurking.
Biopsies, ultrasounds, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans are also routinely used to identify the presence of anal cancer. However, biopsies canspread cancer, so that’s not a very good option, while both PET scans, CT scans, and x-rays can also cause cancer, so perhaps you’ll want to opt for an MRI or ultrasound.
Don’t be ashamed to ask your doctor for testing or a referral if you’re concerned about the health of this sensitive area of your body.
However, if the cancer has already progressed to severe or late-stage, the doctor may recommend more invasive treatments with radiation and chemotherapy. If you’ve been following The Truth About Cancer for any length of time, you’ll know that these are high-risk treatments.
Anal Cancer Treatment Options: Chemo & Radiation Are NOT the Answer
The truth of the matter, just like with most other forms of cancer, is that cancer of the anus is entirely treatable without chemicals and radiation.
Some better options include more natural and progressive cancer treatments such as:
- Rife-Beck Protocol – a highly effective treatment regimen that uses special radio frequencies to take out the microbes that fuel cancer cells and supercharge the immune system so it can rid the body of cancer cells naturally.
- Sono-Photo Dynamic Therapy – a treatment method that utilizes the natural healing power of both light and sound to destroy cancer cells, and prevent them from developing resistance and coming back with a vengeance (as they often do following chemotherapy and radiation).
- Biomagnetic Therapy – a technique that uses magnets to help bring the body back into balance so it can naturally recover from illness, including cancer.
There are many other options as well, including IV therapies such as DMSO and hydrogen peroxide, oxygen therapies, and various vitamin and mineral supplementation programs. I touch on many of these therapies and more in The Truth About Cancer docu-series.
If you haven’t seen the series, I hope you’ll take the time to look into these treatments on your own, as well as consider the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with anal cancer as we approach Anal Cancer Awareness Day. After all, awareness is about education… and education is what ultimately saves lives.