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Tests to stage anal cancer

The stage of a cancer means how big it is and whether it has spread. Knowing the stage helps your doctor decide which treatment you need. To find out the stage of your cancer you might need one or more of these tests. You may also have some of these tests if you have symptoms that could be a sign your cancer has come back after treatment.

CT scan

CT scans take detailed x-rays of your body from different angles to find out where the cancer is and whether it’s spread. Find out how you have it and what happens afterwards.

MRI scan

An MRI scan creates pictures using magnetism and radio waves. Read about what happens during the scan and afterwards.

PET-CT scan

Find out what a PET-CT scan is, how you have it and what happens after it.

Rectal ultrasound

Find out about preparing for an examination of the back passage using ultrasound, how you have it and what happens afterwards.

Fine needle aspiration of lymph nodes

A fine needle aspiration is when your doctor uses a thin needle to take a sample of cells. You might have this test on the lymph nodes at the top of your legs.

Last reviewed: 
17 May 2016

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