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The following tests and procedures may be used to help diagnose anal cancer.
Physical exam and history: This is an exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Digital rectal examination (DRE): This is a manual examination of the anus and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
Anoscopy: This is an examination of the anus and lower rectum using a short, lighted tube called an anoscope.
Proctoscopy: Proctoscopy is an examination of the rectum using a short, lighted tube called a proctoscope.
Endo-anal or endorectal ultrasound: This is a procedure in which an ultrasound transducer (probe) is inserted into the anus or rectum and used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram.
Biopsy: A biopsy is the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. If an abnormal area is seen during the anoscopy, a biopsy may be done at that time.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.