Top plastic surgeon cautions against deadly misdiagnosis of anal cancer.
The report cites Dr. Saha’s case study, in which he treated a 61-year-old woman who presented with a recurrent sacral sore. The patient came to see Dr. Saha after the treatment from her primary doctor stopped working and the sacral sore grew in size. Dr. Saha diagnosed anal cancer and tests confirmed the diagnosis. The patient began chemotherapy and radiation therapy and saw improvement in the following six months.
“Knowing now that sacral sores like this could be a sign of a larger problem, doctors should take all precautions and biopsy the tissue,” Dr. Saha said. “This extra test will help ensure that treatment for something serious like cancer is not delayed. Understanding this common misdiagnosis could help doctors make better decisions and save lives.”
Typically, doctors consider a sore in a patient’s sacral area to be an inflamed ulcer caused by extended periods of sitting or being bedridden, as this patient was. And because the patient had no other complications, her primary care doctor continued to treat the problem as a non-healing sacral sore. Unfortunately, in this case, further investigation showed that it was undiagnosed cancer.
Anal cancer is rare and the presentation of anal cancer, in this case, was even rarer. All of this impacted the primary care doctor's judgment.
Anal cancer is often misdiagnosed and the correct diagnosis tends to come late, after considerable tumor growth. In his report, Dr. Saha urges surgeons to do a biopsy to help change this and ensure patients get life-saving treatment.
Dr. Saha’s report recommends that anal cancer must always be considered when treating long-term sacral pressure sores, such as the one seen in this patient. He recommends doctors conduct an early tissue biopsy of the sore to check if it is cancerous. This will help rule out cancer and help the patient get early treatment.
The findings and recommendations in this report could make all the difference for the long-term recovery of anal cancer patients.
Dr. Srinjoy Saha,
Aesthetic & Plastic Surgeon.
Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Daycare Building 2nd Floor,
58 Canal Circular Road, Kolkata 700054, India.
Mr. Gautam Bhowmick, Office Secretary.
Plastic surgery website:
Dr. Srinjoy Saha is a board-certified plastic surgeon, a Harvard-educated scientist, and a Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is dedicated to serving patients in his hometown in Kolkata, India, with the best possible and advanced plastic surgeries. To know more about him, please see his personal website: https://www.srinjoysaha.com.
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