Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center combines the greatest minds in the field of oncology with advanced treatment and tools to provide leading care and compassionate attention to your needs.
Treatment options depend on a number of factors, including the location, type and stage of the tumor. Most treatment plans include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In developing a treatment plan, the cancer care team will also take into account your age, overall health and your wishes.
In most cases, surgery is not the first treatment used for anal cancer. The type of operation depends on the type and location of the tumor. Anal cancer surgery is most successful when performed by specialists with a great deal of experience in the particular procedure, performing a large number of anal cancer surgeries every year using the most advanced techniques.
If surgery is needed to treat anal cancer, your surgeon may use one of the following procedures:
Chemotherapy treatment is designed to destroy cancer cells and prevent new cancer cells from growing, multiplying and dividing. The chemotherapy drugs, dose and treatment schedule will depend on several factors, including the cancer type, tumor size, your age, weight and previous cancer treatments you’ve had.
Most people with anal cancer will need some form of chemotherapy, but it may also be recommended in different situations, such as:
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. New radiation therapy techniques allow Banner MD Anderson doctors to target anal cancer tumors more precisely, providing the greatest amount of radiation to cancerous cells with the least damage to healthy cells.
Depending on the stage of the anal cancer and other factors, radiation therapy might be used:
Innovative targeted therapies are drugs specially designed to treat each cancer’s specific genetic and molecular profile to help your body target the disease without causing much damage to healthy cells. Some targeted therapies block specific enzymes, proteins or other molecules that contribute to the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies, called immunotherapies, help the immune system destroy cancer cells by empowering your own immune system to recognize them as harmful. Many of the doctors who treat cancer at Banner MD Anderson are dedicated researchers who have pioneered and actively lead national and international clinical trials with novel targeted agents.
It’s important to discuss all treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. You may feel that you need to make a decision quickly, but it’s important to give yourself time to absorb the information you have learned and ask your multidisciplinary cancer care team at Banner MD Anderson any questions you may have. We are here to treat your cancer and support you through this difficult time.
We know that a cancer diagnosis can affect more than your body. Having cancer can be an uncertain time and you deserve to have support navigating those difficulties. Banner MD Anderson offers psychological help with cancer from specially trained practitioners, rehabilitation and a supportive survivorship program. Learn more about our comprehensive and supportive cancer care.