Published online Feb 15, 2017. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v9.i2.50
Peer-review started: August 11, 2016
First decision: September 12, 2016
Revised: October 23, 2016
Accepted: November 27, 2016
Article in press: November 29, 2016
Published online: February 15, 2017
Core tip: Anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) is the precursor lesion to anal squamous cell carcinoma. AIN incidence is low in the general population, but rivals colon cancer in high risk groups, particularly those with human immunodeficiency virus infection and men who have sex with men. Thus, screening for AIN and early anal cancer and treatment of these lesions at expert centers should be considered in high risk populations. Screening is performed using anal cytology and high resolution anoscopy, and treatment consists of either topical or ablative therapies. Finally, human papillomavirus vaccination appears to reduce the rate of AIN and possibly anal cancer.