Few people on this site have posted about anal cancer reoccurrence who had the standard treatment (5FU, mitomycin, radiation). No one has ever posted a reoccurance when they have participated in the current anal cancer clinical trial (as of 2/05).
When you consider that only 5% participate in cancer clinical trails (due to lack of patient knowledge or little info on them and hence fear of them) and put those stats behind anal cancer you come up with a very small number of participates nationwide. How many?
If we look at the total number of anal cancer patients annual est. at 4,000 yearly (which makes us rare as there are 1.4 million cancers diagnosed yearly) 5% of those would be 200.
Anal cancer clinical trials have been on going for about 5 years in Phase III (last phase before approval). The use of cisplatin instead of mitomycin in this clincial trial has proven to give greater survival rates especially for the following classifications: Squamous cell (not basiloid cell, etc); Stage III; Grade 3 or Grade 4, Type 3; AND with suspicious or actual positive node involvement.
This classification of anal canal cancer (site is important prognosis factor too) is associated with metastisis (cancer cell migration to the liver or lungs---8% survival rate).
This later stage classification is a RED FLAG. I recommend urging your doctors to put you on cisplatin (if they can break protocal treatment) instead of the standard treatment. Though anal cancer has a 90% cure rate that's for Stages 1 & 2, & cancer that is differenciated, or moderately differenciated.
Because our cancer is rare 0.243% of all cancers, I don't think there are going to be very many clinical trail patients posting their results on CSN.
A very informative article on anal cance is:
I have heard reports of anal cancer survivors of 20 years.
But it is important to understand that the most toxic treatment of cancer, treatments that have short-term and long-term side effects (expressed in secondary cancers, heart disease, etc) are aggressive treatments like ours---one's that combine both radiation and chemo therapies.
Even with the new radiation IMRT being given in 2003, I encourage those of you who are ready to read about these side effects to start with a websearch. CURE magazine http://www.curetoday.com/ is a great monthly resource some of you already have. They have an informative article on all cancers that are associated with HPV (human pavillonian virus) like ours and other esp. cervix cancer.
My suggestion is those of us who are at least past the 2 year mark since treatment ended (if you get through 2 years the cancer should stay in remission, most agressive anal cancers come back within the 2 year mark) or have completed their therapies, should be on antioxidants supplements and diets. My radiologist recommend Selenium 200 mg dietary supplement.