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BY Melissa Rickenbacher

In 2013, I noticed blood in my stool, which I thought was related to hemorrhoids. I also noticed heartburn on occasion. But it took five years and seeing a lot of doctors to ultimately get a stage IV anal cancer diagnosis.

A colonoscopy I had in 2013 showed a concerning spot, so I saw a colorectal surgeon. However, the surgeon was adamant that it was just a hemorrhoid – nothing to worry about.

I started to have pain when...

Anal cancer survivor Melissa Rickenbacher poses for the camera beside her husband, Gary Rickenbacher

BY Cynthia DeMarco

Hand-foot syndrome (also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia) is a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs that can cause redness, swelling...

BY Tim Ward

I’ve been a regular blood donor since 1981. But it wasn’t until my wife, Kelly, was diagnosed with stage IV anal cancer in 2014 that blood...

BY Danielle Underferth

Despite an overall decline in colorectal cancer cases and deaths over the past several decades, Black men and women are still more likely to get the disease and more likely to die from it than people in any other racial group.

What’s behind this difference in colorectal cancer rates?

“The relationship between race and colorectal cancer is complex,” says George Chang, M.D. “But we do know that the differences in incidence...

doctor speaking with young, African American colorectal cancer patient.

BY Cynthia DeMarco

In 2013, Sandy Fontan was a 53-year-old marathon runner in tip-top shape. She maintained a healthy diet and ran between 25 and 30 miles a...

BY Ronda Wendler

When Bibi Philippou complained to her family doctor two years ago about hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding, the doctor scheduled a colonoscopy...

BY Danielle Underferth

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic stretches on, the HPV vaccine may not seem like a priority for parents worried about keeping their...

BY Laura Nathan-Garner

Courage. Hope. Love. Faith. Strength. Wisdom. These are a few of the gifts that our cancer survivors shared with us on Cancerwise this past...

BY Patricia Murdock

I am thankful for MD Anderson for so many reasons. After I had anal cancer surgery in November 2017, I went to MD Anderson The Woodlands...

BY Elizabeth Deligiannis

When I was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2009, I didn’t know anyone who had ever had the disease. So I was frightened, confused and didn’t...