What is Anal Cancer?

Anal cancer is cancer of the anus.

The anus is the opposite of the mouth i.e. this opening is located at the end of the digestive system and is used to eject feces and other unwanted or dangerous foreign matter. It is primarily for the elimination of solid wastes in humans.

The symptoms of anal cancer are a lump or tumor near the anus, itching, bleeding and discharge from the anus and a change in bowel habits

The risk factors for this cancer are having:

1. Multiple sex partners. Promiscuity combined with anal sex.

2. Homosexuals (due to anal sex- are 17 times more likely to suffer from anal sex than heterosexual males).

3. Those having HPV infections generally referred to as Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) which is the most popular STD. People who have suffered from this disease are at a higher risk of developing anal cancer

4. Smokers stand a higher risk of contacting rectal cancer than the general population

5. Age is also a determinant. It only occurs in people older than 50 years of age.

6. H.I.V infection makes one susceptible to anal cancer due to the suppression of the immune system by the disease.

Treatment of anal cancer is usually effective if treated early. Treatments include:

1. Chemotherapy

This is the use of drugs to kill the cancerous cells. This can be in the form of an injection, drugs or pills. The injections are through a catheter. The drugs kill the cancer cells.

2. Radiation

Radiation therapy is administered along with chemotherapy. In some instances, chemotherapy is discontinued due to side effects.

3. Surgical Operation

A surgical operation can be carried out on the affected part. However, this should be recommended as a last resort.

This is because surgery leads to the permanent creation of a colostomy in the abdomen called a stoma. The stoma will now perform the task of the anus- that of excreting feces.

The best way of preventing anal cancer is to curb anal sex, reduce exposure to H.I.V, treat HPV infections and quit smoking.

If you notice any of the above symptoms of anal cancer, it is recommended you seek help fast.

Benefits of Exercise Include Reducing Cancerous Polyps in Bowel

A colon polyp is a growth on the colon (large intestine), and you can have more than one of them. Flat polyps can be smaller and tougher to see, and are often more likely to be cancerous. Polyps are more likely if you eat a lot of fatty foods, smoke, drink alcohol, shun exercise and therefore weigh more than you should. A colonoscopy is typically the test your doctor will use to check for any polyps, and unless there are indications otherwise, you’ll be urged to have this screening at age 50.

According to this latest study, those who did exercise on a regular basis had a 16% less chance of having bowel polyps and were 35% less likely to have large polyps. Known technically as adenomas, polyps are growths found in the bowel that aren’t cancerous themselves, but have the capacity to become cancer if given enough time. This represents only a fraction of polyps but researchers do believe most bowel cancers start with a polyp.

Research experts point out that the work shows a clear association between being regularly active and a lower chance of bowel cancer. And while there are a few likely explanations, it’s not clear why the link exists, only that it does.

Doctors know that exercise is super helpful to the body in many ways, including…

– Lowers insulin levels and boosts your body’s reaction to hyperinsulinemia

– Makes the immune system function more effectively

– Keeps your weight in the healthy range

– If you exercise outdoors, you also take in beneficial vitamin D

At least 30 minutes of moderate level activity a day – any activity that results in you being slightly short of breath is what you’re after.

In both the United States and United Kingdom, cancer of the bowel is number 3 in the lists of the most common form of cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK most bowel cancers come from polyps, and that one in four of us have at least one by the age of 50, about half have developed them by 70. If you’re worried about your own bowel cancer risk, be sure to get the screenings that your doctor recommends.

Some persistent myths about bowel cancer include…

– It’s more common in men – in fact, this cancer is just as common in women as in men.

– It can’t be prevented – it can, and is, when polyps are found (and removed) early.

– African American men and women are safe – in fact they die at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group.

– Age plays a part – over 90% of cases are found in people 50 or over.

– It’s deadly, so why get tested – in fact this form of cancer is highly treatable, and if found early, the 5 year survival rate is a whopping 90%. It’s the delay in testing for cancerous polyps in the bowel that’s truly deadly.

A new report finds that if one of the benefits of exercise is that you’re 33% less likely to have cancerous polyps in the bowel. The work includes 20 earlier studies that examine the relationship between exercise and the growth of large polyps. The researchers believe they’ve produced the highly accurate figures that show low levels of exercise are linked to polyps.

Can Drinking Wine Really Prevent Bowel Cancer?

At the end of 2012, the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom offered strong evidence that drinking the odd glass of wine may in fact hold more benefits for its consumer than just being something that goes down well with a nice sirloin steak. In fact they offered evidence that people who drink at least one glass of wine a week, were less likely to be diagnosed with bowel cancer than teetotalers and drinkers of other alcoholic beverages such as beer and spirits.

Contrary to previous studies where it was believed that there was absolutely no benefit to drinking the odd glass of wine, now new studies show that wine actually contains beneficial chemicals that can help fight off bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is the second largest cause of death in the U.K. after lung cancer, where it is estimated that over 18,000 British die from the disease every year. Such a large number of cancer patients puts a huge strain on the United Kingdom’s Social Security System, costing taxpayers millions of pounds every year.

Researchers from the State University of New York also backed up this theory after 1,500 people were subjected to examinations where polyps (growths that are believed to provoke cancer), were investigated for their presence on the bowel walls of those who were studied.

It was found that only 1% of red wine drinkers had a significant amount of these polyps present on their bowel walls, in comparison to 12% of non-drinkers, and 18% of beer and spirit drinkers who had considerably more.

For many years, drinking red wine has been associated with the prevention of heart disease, where studies show that people who drink at least two glasses of wine a day cut the risk of being diagnosed with heart disease by up to 25 percent, due to its richness in antioxidant chemicals (flavonol) which are associated with the cleaning of arteries and preventing them clogging.

Research also shows that sufferers of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, may also benefit from drinking the odd glass cup of wine. Although, wine drinkers in general are associated with living a healthier life when it is drank in moderation, usually resulting in out-living many of its abstainers.

Even individual types of wines are said to be more beneficial than others. Such as, Cabernet Sauvignon which has a high content of resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant) is associated with both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and Chablis which is rich in manganese which is associated with arthritis and soothing joint pains.