Surgical management of anal cancer

Minerva Chir. 2015 Apr;70(2):141-5. Epub 2015 Feb 18.


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignancy of the anal canal and anal region. The prevalence of transformation to SCC is much higher in patients with a concomitant human immundefficiency virus (HIV) infection. Historically, treatment of anal SCC consisted of surgical resection with wide local excision for small sized tumors and abdominoperineal resection (APR) for larger and locally invasive cancer. The introduction of chemoradiation by Nigro et al. revolutionized the treatment of SCC. It has improved local recurrence rates as well as survival and need for colostomy. Nowadays, primary surgical treatment is indicated for anal margin tumors that are smaller than 2 cm, and are not poorly differentiated. However, extensive surgery is reserved for those with persistent, progressing and recurrent disease after treatment with the Nigro protocol. Surgical approach for anal canal and margin cancer is to be discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Anus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Anus Neoplasms / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods
  • Colectomy* / methods
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Incidence
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prevalence
  • Treatment Outcome