Twenty patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the anal canal received combined chemo-radiation therapy as their primary treatment. There were 18 women and two men with a mean age of 63 years range, 34—91 years. The mean follow-up was 34 months range, 6—62 months. Anal margin cancers and adenocarcinomas were excluded. Fourteen of 20 patients treated had a complete response. There were six local failures: three with residual disease at the end of treatment and three with recurrent disease at a later date. Of the three with residual disease, one underwent abdominoperineal resection and two received salvage therapy one with chemo-radiation and one with radiation alone.
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The inner lining of the anal canal is the mucosa. Most anal cancers start from cells in the mucosa. Glands and ducts tubes leading from the glands are found under the mucosa. The glands make mucus, which acts as a lubricating fluid. Anal cancers that start from cells in the glands are called adenocarcinomas.