Anal gland adenocarcinoma is rare, with information concerning this lesion communicated mostly as case reports. Cases seen by authors, combined with a survey of the membership of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, allowed 52 cases with sufficient data for analysis. It became clear from the survey that most colorectal surgeons have not treated this malignancy. Predominant symptoms are anal pain (58 percent), rectal bleeding (40 percent), and the presence of perianal mass (37 percent). Fifty-four percent of patients present with a fistula, the incidence of fistula being significantly higher in males. Metastases, which may be inguinal, pelvic, or hepatic, are present at diagnosis in 13.5 percent of patients. Three-fourths of patients are eventually treated by abdominoperineal resection (APR). Twelve percent of the patients in this series had an APR after a failed local excision. The conclusions from this study are: 1) if local excision is attempted, it must be complete, and the patient must be followed closely for many years, and 2) APR is needed in most patients for local control, with the role of subsequent radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy not yet defined.
Poster presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Boston, Massachusetts, May 12 to 17, 1991.
© The ASCRS 1993