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Anal cancer: Glossary of terms

Here is a selection of terms which are relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of anal cancer.


  • Biopsy :

The removal of tissue (usually referring to a sample) of the tumour, either by needle aspiration from the lesion or surgical removal of a piece, for diagnostic analysis under the microscope.


  • Colostomy:

When the bowel is operated on so that it opens onto the form of the abdomen. The stool passed out of this opening and a bag is worn to collect it. The purpose is to divert stool away form the lower bowel, either temporarily or permanently.

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