Bringing Rare Cancers to the Forefront: Anal Cancer Awareness Day March 21
March 21 is Anal Cancer Awareness day. Anal cancer is a rare cancer of the digestive system that starts in the anus, the lower part of the digestive tract which connects the intestines with the outside of the body. In 2020, around 12 700 new cases of anal cancer were diagnosed in Europe. Because anal cancer is rare and sometimes it does not cause any symptoms or causes symptoms that can also be found in other diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose and to treat in a timely manner. A part of Digestive Cancer Europe’s work encompasses anal cancer. Currently this lies in our involvement within the European Reference Network for rare adult solid cancers (ERN EURACAN). This has as its aim the promotion of expertise sharing, best care practices and educational resources across Europe on anal cancer and other rare types of digestive cancers.
This network was set up to meet the medical needs of rare cancers, in 2017 with the support of the EU Health Programme. The ERN EURACAN is divided into 10 disease-related domains (G1-G5). It is composed of healthcare professionals, clinical researchers and patient advocacy groups with a focus on rare adult solid cancers, including anal cancer. As a representative patient advocacy group, DiCE actively participates in the G5 ERN EURACAN domain of rare cancers of the digestive tract.