Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Types of anal cancer

Every anal cancer patient is different. The cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) have extensive experience in properly staging and diagnosing the disease, and developing a treatment plan that's tailored to your specific type of anal cancer.

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Anal cancer can develop when cells in or on the anus change or grow uncontrollably. The abnormal growth of cells in the anus is called anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) or anal squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs).

Tumors that develop in or on the anus are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Abnormal cells that develop in the anus can go away on their own or they can become cancerous. The different types of anal cancer are based on the type of anal cells in which the cancer develops.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the outer lining of the anal canal. It is the most common type of anal cancer.
  • Cloacogenic carcinoma develops between the outer part of the anus and the lower part of the rectum. It accounts for about 25 percent of all anal cancers.
  • Adenocarcinoma occurs in the mucous-producing glands located beneath the anal lining.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can appear in the perianal skin, which is around the anus.
  • Melanoma begins in pigment-producing cells found in the skin or anal lining.

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