Are you wondering what the next step is after receiving an abnormal anal Pap test? Your doctor could opt for an anal ultrasound for anal cancer diagnosis. Although anal cancer is not common in the United States, high-risk people should take the time to get an anal cancer screening so they can get diagnosed and treated early.
Anal Ultrasound Procedure for Anal Cancer Diagnosis
When you should be screened for anal cancer
Anyone over 50 should be checked for colorectal cancers along with high-risk people. Examples of high-risk people are those with HIV, women who have had cervical or vulvar cancer, and organ transplant recipients.
Symptoms of anal cancer vary but usually begin with minor bleeding. Patients should make an appointment to see their doctor for a checkup to rule out cancer if they also experience rectal itching, pain, or abnormal discharge. Swollen lymph nodes or lumps near the anus should also be investigated.
These symptoms are not always associated with cancer and could be signs of anal fissures, warts, or hemorrhoids. After the anal lining is swabbed and an abnormal test result is give, a rectal ultrasound can help rule out or diagnose rectal cancer.
How a rectal ultrasound works
An anal ultrasound uses a probe, the size of a finger in diameter, to reveal lesions, tears, or scarring. Doctors consider it a safe, painless, and a radiation-free procedure.
Anal ultrasounds can help determine whether cancer is present and if so, how far the disease has traveled. Your doctor could opt to do a biopsy to further test any suspicious areas. Physicians might prefer an anal ultrasound instead of a colonoscopy to look beneath the surface of the skin.
Preparation for an endorectal ultrasound consists of two enemas delivered in-house prior to your exam.
Schedule Your Appointment at a Las Vegas Cancer Center
Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center in Las Vegas specializes in the treatment of various cancers concerning the colon, anus, and bowels. Dr. Stephanie Wishnev is one of the only doctors licensed in Nevada to perform anorectal ultrasounds. If you or someone you know is seeking cancer treatment, contact NVSCC.