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Quick Quiz: Anal Cancer

Page 1 of 7: Anal cancer

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Anal cancer is a rare malignancy, representing approximately 0.5% of all new cancer cases in the United States.1,2 The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 8590 new cases (5900 women and 2690 men) of anal cancer will be diagnosed in the country in 2020, and approximately 1350 (810 women and 540 men) will die from the disease.1 How much do you know about anal cancer?

The anus is the opening at the lower end of the intestines where the intestines connect to the outside of the body. The anal canal is approximately 1 to 1.5 inches long and is connected to the rectum and the anal verge, which is where the canal connects to the outside skin.1 Although anal cancer is rare, the number of new cases has been on the rise for several years. The average age at diagnosis is 60 years and the risk for anal cancer is higher in women with a history of cervical cancer related to the human papilloma virus infection and in individuals with certain risk factors for anal cancer.1,3 The 5-year overall survival rate for patients with the disease is 68%.1 Public awareness of anal cancer needs to remain a priority to increase survival rates, lower incidence rates, and improve patient quality of life.