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Am Surg. 2013 Oct;79(10):1068-74.

Incidence and survival patterns of rare anal canal neoplasms using the surveillance epidemiology and end results registry.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.


Small cell, neuroendocrine tumors, and melanoma of the anus are rare. Limited data exist on the incidence and management for these rare tumors. A large, prospective, population-based database was used to determine incidence and survival patterns of rare anal neoplasms. The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results registry was queried to identify patients diagnosed with anal canal neoplasms. Incidence and survival patterns were evaluated with respect to age, sex, race, histology, stage, and therapy. We identified 7078 cases of anal canal neoplasms: melanoma (n = 149), neuroendocrine (n = 61), and small cell neuroendocrine (n = 26). Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (n = 6842) served as the comparison group. Anal melanoma (AM) demonstrated the lowest survival rate at 2.5 per cent. Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) demonstrated similar survival as SCC (10-year survival for regional disease of 25 and 22.3%, respectively). Ten-year survival of small cell NETs resembled AM (5.3 vs 2.5%). Age 60 years or older, sex, black race, stage, and surgery were independent predictors of survival. This study presents the largest patient series of rare anal neoplasms. NETs of the anal canal demonstrate similar survival patterns to SCC, whereas small cell NETs more closely resemble AM. Accurate histologic diagnosis is vital to determine treatment and surgical management because survival patterns can differ among rare anal neoplasms.

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