Anal Cancer Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for anal cancer by stage

Some people with cancer may want to know the survival rates for their type of cancer. Others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. Whether or not you want to read about survival rates is up to you. If you decide that you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percent of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is found. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years (and many are cured). Also, people with anal cancer may die of something else. These rates, known as observed survival rates, don’t take that into account.

In order to get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Better treatment since then may result in a better outlook for people now being treated for anal cancer.

The following numbers come from the National Cancer Data Base and are based on cancers found between 1998 and 1999. The National Cancer Database divides anal cancers based on how the cells look under the microscope (squamous cell cancers and non-squamous cell cancers) as well as by stage.

 

    5-year observed survival for anal cancer

    Stage

    Squamous cancers

    Nonsquamous cancers

    I

    71%

    59%

    II

    64%

    53%

    IIIA

    48%

    38%

    IIIB

    43%

    24%

    IV

    21%

    7%

While these numbers give an overall picture, keep in mind that every person is different. Statistics can’t predict what will happen in your case. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure, or how long you might survive your cancer. They know your situation best.


Last Medical Review: 01/14/2013
Last Revised: 04/18/2014