20 Yr anal cancer survivor

Andy5 Member Posts: 18
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Just a quick note that I thought was upbeat... I went to a new gynocologist the other day ( mine had left his practice after 17 years , I wasn't too happy)..so I discussed my history with him and asked if he ever had a patient with Anal Cancer. He said he had a current patient who returns to the Cleveland Clinic each year to be checked. He said she had had surgery as well as radiation. I was a bit nevvous and asked how long ago she had had it, and he said ...over 20 years ago.. for some reason I felt very happy and optimistic. I realized that at that time they probably did not have the "Nigro" treatment or that it was so new that it wasn't being used very much.

Just thought that it was an encouraging story and think we can look forward to some great years ahead..Stay Well..Donna


  • Andy5
    Andy5 Member Posts: 18
    Intensive Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy Combo May Improve Outcomes for Persons with Cancer of the Anus
    Persons who have cancers of the anus that have spread to the nearby lymph nodes or are large in size may require more aggressive therapy than individuals with smaller cancers. Now, researchers say that chemotherapy with fluorouracil and cisplatin, followed by a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy with fluorouracil and mitomycin, may help preserve bowel function and improve survival for persons with this type of disease.

    Cancer of the anus, the opening at the end of the rectum, is an uncommon cancer. Depending on the stage of disease (extent of disease at diagnosis) and other factors, cancer of the anus may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. Persons who have surgery for anal cancer sometimes need a colostomy, an opening created from the skin to the bowel to help dispose of waste; however, a colostomy is usually temporary. Persons who have anal cancer that can be operated upon are often treated with surgery followed by a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy with fluorouracil and mitomycin. Seventy percent of these individuals are cured and maintain bowel functioning. However, persons with anal cancers that are large in size or have spread to the lymph nodes, do not respond as well to the standard therapies and need more aggressive treatment.

    Researchers from the Cancer and Acute Leukemia Group B conducted a study with the hope of improving survival rates and preserving bowel function for persons with cancer of the anal canal that were large in size or had spread to the lymph nodes. Forty-five patients first received chemotherapy with fluorouracil and cisplatin. They then received a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy with fluorouracil and mitomycin. Thirty-six patients had a complete response to the therapy. After an average of 21 months, 78% of the patients were alive and 67% were free from any signs and symptoms of cancer. Fifty-six percent of those who were alive were without a colostomy.

    The researchers concluded that this more aggressive combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy appears to result in better survival and better preservation of bowel functioning than the standard regimens for persons with more advanced anal cancer. Persons with this type of disease may wish to talk with their doctor about the risks and benefits of receiving intensive chemotherapy with radiation therapy or of participating in a clinical trial in which other promising new therapies are being studied. Two sources of information on ongoing clinical trials that can be discussed with a doctor include a comprehensive, easy-to-use service provided by the National Cancer Institute ( cancer.gov) and the Clinical Trials section and service offered by Cancer Consultants.com ( www.411cancer.com). ( Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting, Vol 18, Abstract 909, pp 237a, 1999)
  • Andy5
    Andy5 Member Posts: 18
    According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) on Anal Canal patients
    with anal cancers have a history of cervical, vulvar or vaginal cancer and a history of HPV (human papilloma virus infection).

    An estimated 3,990 new anal cancers occur in 2005 (represents 1.6% of the digestive system cancers). Anal cancer also has an association with head/neck cancers (all a part of the digestive system or gastrointestinal cancers).

    I did random calls to ear, throat & noise (ETN) doctors asking if their patients who had throat or esophagus cancers had a previous history of anal cancer. The answer was yes but very few.

    It is my strong belief that patients with anal cancers that have been successful treated
    should be sure to see ENT doctors or notify their dentists to monitor for lesions (redness or white patches in oral cavity) for decades until a therapeutic vaccine for latent HPV comes out (2015?)

    Relevant sites are:



    BE WELL Andrea
  • Andy5
    Andy5 Member Posts: 18
    There are 19 doctors who are panel members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for Anal Cancer (from Johns Hopkns to Duke University--in several regional states) Two are from the Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University Chicago. One of these doctors is my radiologist, Dr. Krystyna Kiel. She recommended 200 mg of Selenium after a study showed usage over 10 years was associated with fewer recurrences of rectal/colon and lung cancers.

    Below is the article and sites:

    Selenium May Reduce Risk of Developing Lung, Colorectal, and Prostate Cancers
    The essential dietary nutrient, selenium, may help reduce the risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, and prostrate, as well as reduce the number of deaths in persons who have certain types of cancer, according to preliminary research findings.

    It is believed that cancer is caused by a number of factors, making prevention of the disease a challenge. Few cases of cancer have a causative association as clear as the one between smoking and lung cancer. However, ongoing research continues to elucidate characteristics or exposures that may increase the chance of developing different types of cancers ( risk factors) as well as characteristics or exposures that may reduce the chance of developing those cancers ( protective factors). Recently, much attention has been given to the potential protective effects of various dietary supplements and nutrients, including selenium.

    Selenium is a nutrient that is essential to the human body. A component of a number of the body’s enzymes, selenium is found predominantly in foods but also in water and air. Several scientific reports have shown an increased risk of developing certain cancers when the diet does not contain enough selenium. Similarly, some clinical studies have shown that selenium supplements in the diet may reduce the risk of developing some cancers. The side effects of most forms of selenium are low; however, certain forms (such as selenious acid) can be fatal if ingested. Excessive exposure to selenium, often characterized by a garlic odor on the breath, can result in chronic selenium poisoning. Further investigation of the potential protective effect of selenium from some types of cancer is ongoing.

    Researchers from several centers in the United States conducted a study to determine whether the use of selenium supplements would result in a reduced risk of developing cancer or a recurrence (return) of cancer in 1312 persons who had a history of basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin. The researchers assigned the patients to receive either 200 micrograms of selenium per day or a placebo. The findings showed that the selenium did not have any impact on whether the patients developed the skin cancer again. However, the selenium was associated with fewer cancer-related deaths. Of the group receiving placebo, 57 persons died of cancer; of the group receiving selenium, 29 persons died of cancer. Of the cancers that were diagnosed, 119 were in the placebo group and 77 were in the selenium group. Cancers that were shown to be reduced in the selenium group included lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers. Because of these favorable results showing reductions in the incidence of lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers and the reduction in deaths from cancer, this study was stopped early.

    The researchers concluded that the protective effects of selenium shown here appear promising; however, further studies are needed to confirm these findings. ( Journal of the American Medical Society, Vol 276, No 24, pp 1957-1963)


  • maybi
    maybi Member Posts: 1
    Hi Andy and others....
    I'm new to this network and am trying to do some research for a friend who was recently diagnosed with squamous cell anal cancer. I'm not sure what grade, but apparently the cancer hasn't spread at all. No other organs are affected to date.
    She lives in New Zealand and 3 doctors have basically said to her she needs to have radiation and chemotherapy, otherwise she will die. Being very health conscious she is resolved to have the radiation, but is still ambivalent about the chemo.
    Any suggestions about articles to read or places to contact to get a second opinion?
    Would appreciate any help! Birgit
  • dirtybert
    dirtybert Member Posts: 1
    anal cancer
    I was told I had anal cancer over the phone. To say the least I was horrified. Ihave gone through treatment chemo/rad.Iam now 5 months into the journey with the pain subsiding. Iwent on the CSN and read where a person has been a survivor for 20 years; very encouraging Iwas wondering if this person could tell us if there is anything a person could do or what this person did to survive so long?