Key Statistics for Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is fairly rare – much less common than cancer of the colon or rectum. The American Cancer Society estimates for anal cancer in the United States for 2020 are:

  • About 8,590 new cases (5,900 in women and 2,690 in men)
  • About 1,350 deaths (810 in women and 540 in men)

The number of new anal cancer cases has been rising for many years. Anal cancer is rare in people younger than 35 and is found mainly in older adults, with an average age being in the early 60s. It is also more common in white women and black men. 

The risk of being diagnosed with anal cancer during one’s lifetime is about 1 in 500. The risk is higher in people with certain risk factors for anal cancer.

The number of people who die from anal cancer each year has been rising, but treatment for anal cancer is often very effective, and many patients with this cancer can be cured. But anal cancer can be a serious condition. For information on survival, see Survival Rates by Stage of Anal Cancer.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020.  

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

Last Revised: September 9, 2020

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