How is anal cancer treated?
Every patient at Miami Cancer Institute receives a personalized treatment plan put together by our team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional oncologists.
We work diligently to find the right treatment for your anal cancer that fits you as a patient. Anal cancer treatment is more likely to be effective if it is administered by specialists with extensive experience and using the most advanced techniques. Your care team will consider your specific diagnosis and type of tumor, the stage of disease, size and location of tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We also work closely with physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychosocial experts to ensure we address any potential side effects of treatment.
Anal cancer treatment often consists of a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, also referred to as chemoradiotherapy. This has emerged as the preferred method of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma localized to the anal canal because it can cure many patients, while preserving the function of the anal sphincter. Surgery is typically only used if there is residual or recurrent cancer after the completion of chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments. Which treatments you receive will depend on how advanced your cancer is.
The radiation oncology department at Miami Cancer Institute is well-known for having access to every form of radiation treatment available today, all under one roof. Radiation therapies that may be used include:
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This treatment uses a machine outside the body to deliver high-energy X-rays precisely to the tumor.
- Proton therapy. This treatment delivers protons directly to the tumor with limited radiation exposure to the surrounding tissue, which may decrease side effects. Miami Cancer Institute is proud to be the first center in the region to offer this unique treatment.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.
South Florida's First Proton Therapy Center
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment that directs proton particles toward tumors to destroy cancer cells while largely sparing healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects. This sophisticated treatment is used only for certain types of cancers and in a limited number of individuals.