What is Anal Melanoma?Anal melanoma is a rare aggressive cancer of the lining of the anus that produces melanin. It is a rare malignant tumor, with a survival rate of 5 years in only 10% of patients. Because of a rare carcinoma, it is often mistaken for hemorrhoids or polyps.
Disease EpidemiologyMelanoma of the anus is a rare malignant neoplasm and accounts for approximately 1.3% of all melanomas (cancers of cells that produce melanin). Tumor lesions can affect the anus and rectum. It is more common in Caucasians than in African Americans. In 20-30% of cases, anal melanomas appear as benign polyps when viewed through an endoscope.
Disease Etiology (Causes)There is no well-known cause.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Bleeding from the anus
- Feeling of fullness and urge to passing stool even after defecation (passing stool)
- Pain or discomfort in the anus
- Itching on anus
- Changes in bowel habits
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis these are
- Diagnostic imaging techniques such as USG, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan can be used to detect the site, size, and extent of the tumor.
- Proctoscopy (This is an imaging technique in which a doctor can use a proctoscope to see the inside of the anus and rectum to detect disease or tumor)
- Tumor biopsy and histopathological examination