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A 44-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between colon and anal cancer?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. William A Biermann
Medical Oncology 47 years experience
Location: Location, type of cell and type of treatments are all different. Anal cancer is located in or around the skin of the anus and is usually squamous cell. Treatment is often chemo and radiation. Colon cancer is actually in the bowel and is an adenocarcinoma. Surgery is usually the first approach. Chemotherapy for colorectal cancers is different than for anal cancer.
Dr. Allen Kamrava
Colon and Rectal Surgery 16 years experience
The cell type: Colon cancer is primarily an adenocarcinoma anal cancer is primarily a squamous cell type the treatments and work up are completely different. The anus is derived from ectoderm and the colon from endoderm -- allowing for the different cell types. Both colon and anal can have the other type, however much much more rare.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 24 years experience
Almost everything: The only thing the same is that colon and anus are part of the GI tract. Otherwise, everything else is different. The type of cells where the cancer originating from are different, the epidemiology is different-hpv is one of the risk factor for anal cancer- while it is not in colon cancer. Therapy is different- chemo/radiation in anal ca. While in colon ca-surgery is possible +/- chemo.

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Similar questions

A 38-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between having anal cancer and colon cancer?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Surgery 40 years experience
Location: An anal cancer may likely be a different cell type, located more near the skin of the anal opening. It may be treated differently with radiation and chemotherapy rather than surgery, depending on the cell type. Colon caner can be located anywhere in the large intestine, and is treated wth surgery to remove the tumor, and sometimes radiation or chemotherapy may be used after surgery.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Please help! what is the difference between colon cancer and anal cancer?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Addagada Rao
General Surgery 57 years experience
Each is dIfferent: Colon cancer is in the colorectal area , adenocarcinoma spreads to abdominal lymph nodes first and more common than anal cancer , develops in anal canal squamous cell cancer , spreads to groin nodes first. Recently more frequently seen in HIV patients.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How are anal cancer and colon cancer different?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sanjay Jain
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
See below: Anus is about 3-4 cm long from skin to the rectum which is the last part of colon. Colon is lined by columnar lining and cancer of this is very common and runs in families. Cancer arising in the anal skin which is squamous kind is more like skin cancer. Treatment is very different as is prognosis.
Last updated May 3, 2019
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