HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Nyitray AG, D'Souza G, Stier EA, Clifford G, Chiao EY. The Utility of Digital Anal Rectal Examinations in a Public Health Screening Program for Anal Cancer. Journal of lower genital tract disease. 2020 Apr 1; 24(2):192-196.
There are no uniform screening recommendations for anal cancer. Medical practice guidelines are now available on the use of Digital Anal Rectal Examinations (DARE) for the detection of anal cancer; however, because screening can result in more harm than benefit, our objective was to assess the evidence for use of DARE as a public health screening tool.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We conducted a current critical appraisal of anal cancer literature using World Health Organization criteria for assessing the potential utility of a public health screening program.
Digital Anal Rectal Examination satisfies most, but not all, World Health Organization criteria for a public health program that seeks to detect early invasive anal cancer in populations at high risk for anal cancer, most notably HIV-positive men who have sex with men; however, DARE is not appropriate when facilities for treatment are nonexistent. In addition, there are insufficient data on DARE sensitivity and specificity.
The mildly invasive nature of DARE, limited likelihood of adverse procedure-related events, cost-effectiveness and patient acceptability, as well as wide availability of DARE support consideration of its integration into screening for populations at high risk of anal cancer, especially HIV-positive men who have sex with men.