Anorectal Tumors

Carcinoma of the anal area represents less than 5 percent of all large bowel malignancy. At the level of the dentate line and extending approximately 1 cm proximal is a transitional zone of epithelium connecting the squamous cell epithelium of the anoderm with the columnar epithelium of the rectum. Ihis transition zone includes columnar, cuboidal, transitional, and squamous epithelial cells that represent the source for a variety of malignancies that arise in the anal canal ( Ia.b]§,Z.8.:4). For the purpose of grading malignancies, the United Nations World Health Organization has divided the anal canal into two regions: (1) malignancies of the portion proximal to the dentate line and including the transitional zone are referred to as anal canal neoplasms and (2) tumors arising in the anoderm distal to the dentate line are referred to as anal margin neoplasms.

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