Mayo Clinic has one of the largest, most comprehensive cancer diagnosis and treatment programs in the world. Mayo Clinic's doctors explore innovative approaches to prevention, early detection and treatment of all types of cancers, including rare cancers.
Mayo Clinic specialists use these tests and procedures to diagnose anal cancer:
- Examination. Examining your rectum and anal canal can indicate to your doctor what further testing might be appropriate.
- Visual inspection. Using a short, lighted tube (anoscope), your doctor can visually inspect your anal canal and rectum for anything unusual.
- Ultrasound. Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound, an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise pictures.
- Biopsy. If your doctor finds anything unusual, a small sample of the tissue may be removed and examined (biopsy) to see if cancer is present and determine the type.
- Staging. Doctors classify cancers of the anus into stages (I to IV) according to the spread of the disease. Treatment depends on whether your cancer is limited to the anus or has spread. Your doctor may use computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) to make scans of your pelvis and abdomen to assess the extent of your cancer. X-rays of your chest can reveal if cancer has spread to your lungs or the bones in your chest.
Read more about anal cancer at MayoClinic.com.