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Subcommittee to look at the role of screening for anal cancers

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Anal cancer and its screening using digital ano-rectal examination (DARE) in men living with HIV who have sex with men

Anal cancer and its screening using digital ano-rectal examination (DARE) in men living with HIV who have sex with men

ASHM has commissioned a subcommittee to look at the role of screening for anal cancers in men living with HIV who have sex with men (MSM). The group will initially focus on the merits and issues around routine screening using DARE.​

The issue in a nutshell:

  • The incidence of anal cancer in men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV is 50-100 times higher than the general population.
  • The mainstay of curative treatment is to preserve the anal canal with combined chemoradiotherapy (or with local excision surgery for small perianal cancer).
  • Anal cancer diagnosis and treatment can have significant effects on quality of life and detecting cancer at an earlier stage can reduce morbidity and mortality.
  • Anal cancer survival outcomes are related to stage at presentation and hence early detection is a priority.
  • There is now increasing evidence that incorporating regular digital ano-rectal examination (DARE) into routine HIV care for those at highest risk for anal cancer (i.e. MSM living with HIV) is acceptable to patients and clinicians, and cost-effective in an Australian context.

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