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How is colorectal cancer different from anal cancer?

There are many types of cancers and all of them badly affect the most important part of the body i.e. the cells. Cancer occurs when the number of cells of a particular organ keeps on increasing even if there is no need of further cells. This is called the abnormal growth of the cells. Two such death causing cancers are colorectal cancer and the anal cancer. Any symptom indicating these cancers should not be ignored and your organs should be immediately diagnosed so as to prevent death.

Colorectal Cancer:
Colon and rectum are the organs which form the large intestine. Colorectal cancer affects these two organs. Colorectal cancer also called the bowel cancer and the colorectal blight is the third most dangerous and death causing cancers. It occurs due to the abnormal growth of cancerous cells in the inner lining of the colon or the rectum.

There are various causes of colorectal cancer. The main cause is the age factor. People who are above the age of 50 are more prone to the colorectal cancer. Another major risk factor of the colorectal cancer is the family history of cancer. If a person has a family history of colorectal cancer then he/ she is more prone to colorectal cancer. Other risk factors include diet, inflammatory bowel disease, race or ethnicity, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake etc.

The presence of colorectal cancer can be known by some symptoms which persist in a patient. These symptoms include weight loss, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome etc. When these symptoms persist a person should always go for the diagnosis to confirm the presence of colorectal cancer. There are various tests like colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test, digital rectal exam, barium enema x-rays, sigmoidoscopy, etc which can be performed to detect colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer can be very well treated with the help of treatments like chemotherapy.

Anal Cancer:
Anal cancer is a very dangerous cancer which affects the anus. Studies have shown that about 50000 people suffer from anal cancer every year and around 620 people die because of it. It is a type of squamous cell carcinoma and is said to near the squamocolumnar junction.

The various risk factors of anal cancer include smoking, anal intercourse, age factor, regular swelling or redness occurring in the anus, having sexual intercourse with different sex partners, fistulas (openings present around the anus which are quite abnormal), HPV virus infection etc.

There are some symptoms which indicate the presence of anal cancer. These include bloating of the bowel, change in the bowel habits, lumps present near the anus, bleeding through the anus, itching of the anus, pain in the anus, discharge from the anus, lower back pain in women due to the pressure exerted on the vagina by the tumours, drying up of the vagina etc.

These symptoms may not be necessarily indicating the presence of anal cancer. They may be due to other more dangerous or less dangerous diseases and therefore one needs to get himself diagnosed to confirm the disease. Various tests which can be performed for confirming the presence of anal cancer are anoscopy, anal pap smears, proctoscopy, digital rectal examination, endo-anal or endorectal ultrasound, biopsy, physical examination etc.

With the help of the above mentioned tests one can get to know what and where exactly the cancer is. After the tests are performed a person can go for the treatment of the anal cancer. Treatments of the anal cancer include infrared photo-coagulation, chemotherapy, surgery, radio sensitizers, radiotherapy, etc

Although, colorectal cancer and anal cancer are very different from each other with respect to their risk factors, treatements, tests, etc but they need to be treated as soon as possible so as to prevent death.

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