Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Physician speaks on anal-cancer risks, screenings
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Anal cancer is a condition about which individuals from numerous demographics should be concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), there are about 3,400 new cases of human papilloma virus ( HPV )-associated anal cancers diagnosed every year in women, and about 1,800 new cases in men.

Being HIV-positive significantly increases the risk, said Gary Bucher, MD, of Anal Dysplasia Clinic-Midwest, 2551 N. Clark St. The current rate of anal cancer is about 140 per 100,000 HIV-positive men who have sex with men ( MSM ), and 35 per 100,000 HIV-negative MSM. HIV-positive women and HIV-positive men who have sex with women have similar rates of anal cancer to HIV-negative MSM.

"Definitely you can see that the biggest group is the HIV-positive MSM," Bucher noted, adding that such high rates are compelling health providers and advocates to get the message out that people need to be screened.

At the root of the condition is HPV, which is the most commonly-transmitted STD since it is largely transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. "You can get HPV just by rubbing the penis or the anal area, or through oral sex," he explained.

Most people who are infected with HPV will clear it from their system within two years. Bucher added, "But for people with HIV, for some reason, even though the immune system looks good T-cell-wise, you can still have some some kind of issue where the HPV continues to 'hang out' and cause problems."

About 95 percent of HIV-positive MSM"will always have HPV in their bottoms," he continued. "About 60 percent of gay men who are negative will also always have it in their bottoms. That is why it persists, and why those two groups are most at risk."

Cellular changes from the HPV can eventually lead to the precancerous condition anal dysplasia.

"In HIV-positive MSM, about 50-60 percent of that group will have those precancerous areas, and about one in 10 of those people will develop anal cancer over their lifetime, so it's pretty common," Bucher said.

While some primary care providers have been offering patients anal Pap smears more frequently, a rectal examination is additionally necessary, he said. "If there's a cancer there, the physician can actually feel it, and determine if it's gotten large enough that the patient actually has to go for treatment."

One stumbling block is largely a matter of comfort-levels: Most patients are uncomfortable asking for the rectal exam—or simply don't know they should—while many physicians are uncomfortable asking if they want one.

"But the problem is that, with most Paps, the swabs have to get in all the folds of the anal canal, and there are a lot of folds," Bucher said. "So you can have a lot of Paps that come back normal when there are actually precancerous areas there."

He added that, no matter whether a patient is HIV-positive or -negative, "If we catch a cancer early, and it's small, we can surgically remove it, and they can avoid chemo and radiation. But typically when people come in, the tumor is too large to remove surgically, so it's chemo and radiation for them. If we catch it early and it hasn't metastasized to other body locations, the five-year survival rate is greater than 60 percent, which is really great for cancers that have been treated."

Patients can only have the chemo or radiation treatments once. If the cancer reoccurs, they must have their anus surgically removed.

"So it's important to find these cancers early in high-risk groups," Bucher said. Those groups who should be screened include HIV-positive men and women; HIV-negative MSM who are 45 and older; women with a history of cervical, vaginal or vulval cancer or high-grade disease; transplant patients; and persons with certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Bucher suggested concerned persons say to their primary-care physicians, '"I've been reading, and I know that I'm in a high-risk group for anal cancer. I know that, in screening for that, I should probably have a rectal exam every year, and a Pap smear if possible.' … It's an education piece for the provider as well, where the patient needs to take charge also, especially if they're in one of those high-risk groups."

Bucher's clinic is a study-site of the national Anal Cancer HSIL Outcomes Research ( ANCHOR ) Study, an 8-year study examining the overall effectiveness of Pap smears and cell-removal surgeries in detecting and preventing anal cancer. He said volunteers are still being sought.

"We need to enroll over 5,000 people nationally," Bucher noted, adding that HIV-positive men, women and transgender persons were especially needed. "They get a free screening, which is high-resolution oscopy, and if they qualify, we'll be following them every six months. … It's a really important trial and we need people to come in, get screened and help answer these questions."

For more information, see .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Statement from CTU President Karen Lewis 2018-06-22 - CHICAGO, June 22, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis issued the following statement today in the wake of reports that she has submitted ...

Gay News

'Queer, Ill + Okay' June 21, 23 2018-06-20 - Program Director Joseph Varisco, of Salonathon and the former Alphawood Gallery, has announced the "Queer, Ill + Okay" summer 2018 program of arts ...

Gay News

Walgreens, AIDS group offering free testing 2018-06-20 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a national public-information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are working with 220 health departments, AIDS-service organizations and ...

Gay News

THEATER Disability storytelling aims to focus on intersectionality 2018-06-20 - "I didn't come out as a little person until I was 26." So begins a story written and performed by Tekki Lomnicki, artistic ...

Gay News

EI Urges Gov. Rauner to Extend Non-Discrimination Protections to All Illinois Workplaces 2018-06-15 - CHICAGO—Equality Illinois urges Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign legislation that would extend Illinois' workplace non-discrimination protections to businesses of all sizes in the ...

Gay News

Walgreens offers testing for National HIV Testing Day June 27 2018-06-14 - DEERFIELD, Ill., June 13, 2018 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are ...

Gay News

CDC report show mixed results for youth on HIV, STDS 2018-06-14 - June 14, 2018 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC )'s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary on the ...

Gay News

Formato's Focus 2018-06-13 - Welcome to Formato's Focus, a monthly spotlight that shines light on the interesting people doing amazing things within our community. This week ...

Gay News

Activist Martinez injured in hit-and-run 2018-06-13 - A Chicago activist and publicist was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident in the Logan Square neighborhood. Anthony Martinez was struck by ...

Gay News

Organizer Pfeiffer looks ahead to 2018 Pride Parade 2018-06-13 - For longtime coordinator Richard Pfeiffer, each Chicago Pride Parade amounts to a family reunion for the city's LGBT community. "I see so many ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.