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April 14, 1975

Comment: Carcinoma of the Anus

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, and Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY.

JAMA. 1975;232(2):187-188. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250020057032

FORTUNATELY, tumors of the anus are uncommon; they constitute less than 5% of rectal carcinomas. The major sex differentiation is that the lesions are more likely to arise on the anal verge in men, and in the anal canal in women. The age range for peak incidence is from the fourth to sixth decades. This tumor is often mistaken for a benign lesion since pruritus is the most common symptom; an association with hemorrhoids, fissures, leukoplakia, or condyloma is not unusual. Even rectal bleeding may be attributed to accompanying and more common benign states. It is only with complaints of tenesmus resulting from a mass, recurring pain in the perineum, or repeated rectal hemorrhages that the patient becomes concerned and seeks medical attention. Incontinence and stricture are late findings; the former suggests deep invasion into muscle, rendering the sphincteric control incompetent; stricture decreases stool caliber. Lymphogranuloma venereum should be added