Anal canal carcinoma is rare, accounting for less than 2% of all GI tract malignancies. Originally thought to be a consequence of chronic anal canal inflammation, it is now considered a result of infection by human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease. Prior to the 1970s, anal cancer was treated by abdominoperineal resection with permanent colostomy. However, for the past thirty years, sphincter-preserving chemoradiation has been the standard of care, with survival superior to that resulting from primary surgical therapy. Although highly curable, anal carcinoma frequently presents late due to misdiagnosis or delay in presentation. Future improvements in the management and prognosis of this uncommon malignancy will likely be realized through the screening of high-risk groups, improvement in the treatment of venereal warts and the optimization of both radiation and chemotherapeutic regimens.
KeywordsHuman Papilloma Virus Anal Canal Anal Cancer Dentate Line Human Papilloma Virus Infection
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