Anal Cancer

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Anal Cancer Stages

The treatment that your doctor recommends for anal cancer will be based, in part, on the stage of your cancer. The stage depends on:

  • How large your cancer is
  • Whether the cancer has invaded nearby organs 
  • Whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes 
  • Whether the cancer has spread to distant parts of your body

Four Stages of Anal Cancer

There are four stages of anal cancer. 

Stage I

Cancer has formed in the top layer of anal tissue and has spread below this layer. The tumor is 2 centimeters (cm) across or smaller. It hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.

Stage II

The tumor is larger than 2 cm. It hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.

Stage III

  • Stage IIIA: The cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the rectum, or it has invaded nearby organs (such as the vagina, urethra, or bladder) without spreading to nearby lymph nodes. It hasn’t spread to distant parts of the body. 
  • Stage IIIB: The cancer has invaded nearby organs and spread to lymph nodes near the rectum; OR the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in one side of the pelvis or groin; OR the cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the rectum and in the groin or to lymph nodes on both sides of the pelvis or groin. It hasn’t spread to distant parts of the body.

Stage IV

Cancer that started in the anus has spread to a distant part of the body. (It may or may not have spread to lymph nodes or invaded nearby organs.)

References

American Cancer Society
American Society of Clinical Oncology
National Cancer Institute