Michelle King Robson and Dr. John Garvie discuss anal cancer and Farrah Fawcett's contribution to the awareness of this condition.
Michelle King Robson:
I am here with Dr. John Garvie, who did my colonoscopy, and some of you have seen that on EmpowHer’s website.
Today we are going to talk a little bit about anal cancer since this is something that has become a more predominant thing and in the news because of Farrah Fawcett. So I thought I take this opportunity and talk to you about anal cancer because this is just something I knew nothing about until Farrah actually created the awareness around it which I think is pretty amazing that she did all that and that she decided to go and cope up with it.
Dr. John Garvie:
Yeah, again I think it’s a story that is worth exploring. Anal cancer is a separate entity from rectal cancer for which it is often confused. So I think that most people use the terms interchangeably and they ought not to use them interchangeably and the reason is because they do arise from different tissue. So the primary tissue that an anal cancer arise from is what’s called the squamous tissue, your skin.
So an anal cancer is a squamous cancer and rectal cancers are columnar glandular epithelial cancers. The anal tissue meets the rectal tissue in the anal canal and so there is often times this question for us, even as gastroenterologists, when we see a lesion in the anal area, are we dealing with a primary anal squamous cancer or are we dealing with a glandular rectal cancer. The location of a lesion and to follow it usually helps us to decide that.
Watch Michelle's Story About Her Colonoscopy Experience