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What are the standard treatments for anal cancer?

Three main types of standard treatment are used: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Most often a combination of chemotherapy and radiation is used, avoiding surgery when possible. Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, usually 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin. Radiation therapy kills or disrupts cancerous cells using high-energy X-rays directed at the cancer (a process known as external-beam radiation therapy) or radioactive substances implanted in or near the cancer (brachytherapy). Surgical treatment physically removes the cancerous tissue.

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