Berman, MD, and Mark S. In November , Cross was diagnosed with anal cancer after a routine digital rectal examination by her gynecologist. The cancer was caught early, and she underwent 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Throughout the treatment, which Cross described as "gnarly," she tried to maintain her sense of humor. I've read a lot of cancer-survivor stories, and many people, women especially, were too embarrassed to say what kind of cancer they had. There is a lot of shame about it. I want that to stop. She encourages people to listen to their body, and quickly seek medical advice if they have any symptoms rectal bleeding or pain, itchiness, or lumps. She also acknowledged the Anal Cancer Foundation as "an amazing resource, and one I turned to often. The anus is approximately 2 to 3 inches long and composed of a surface layer of squamous cells under which are two adjacent sets of sphincter muscles.
— Actress discloses her survival story and wants to end the stigma
Most anal cancers start in a type of cell called squamous cells. Other rare types include adenocarcinoma and melanoma. Squamous cell cancers are the most common type of anal cancer.
The inner lining of the anal canal is the mucosa. Most anal cancers start from cells in the mucosa. Glands and ducts tubes leading from the glands are found under the mucosa. The glands make mucus, which acts as a lubricating fluid. Anal cancers that start from cells in the glands are called adenocarcinomas. Anal cancers are often divided into 2 groups, which are sometimes treated differently:. The anal canal is surrounded by 2 sphincter muscles that keep the anus closed and prevent stool leakage. Many types of tumors can develop in the anus. Not all of these tumors are cancers — some are benign not cancer. Polyps are small, bumpy, or mushroom-like growths that form in the mucosa or just under it.
The anal canal is the terminal segment of the large intestine between the rectum and anus , located below the level of the pelvic diaphragm. It is located within the anal triangle of perineum , between the right and left ischioanal fossa. As the final functional segment of the bowel, it functions to regulate release of excrement by two muscular sphincter complexes.