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Find out about survival for anal cancer.

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. They can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

No one can tell you exactly how long you will live. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK wide statistics available for anal cancer survival by stage. 

The statistics below come from a UK wide study called ACT 2. The researchers looked at different treatment combinations for people with anal cancer. The results below are for progression free survival after treatment. This is the number of people who are alive 3 years after diagnosis, and whose cancer has not grown or got worse.

T1 and T2 

Around 80 out of 100 people (around 80%) were alive 3 years after diagnosis and their cancer had not got worse.

T1 and T2 tumours are 5cm or smaller.

T3 and T4

Around 65 out of 100 people (around 65%) were alive 3 years after diagnosis and their cancer had not got worse.

T3 tumours are larger than 5 cm and T4 tumours can be any size, but have grown into surrounding tissues or organs.

Survival for all stages of anal cancer

Generally, for people with anal cancer in England 

  • around 65 out of 100 (around 65%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

Some studies show that survival is better for women than men.

About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of cancer.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and anal cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Last reviewed: 
27 Jul 2016
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, April 2016 (people diagnosed between 2009 – 2013)

  • Mitomycin or cisplatin chemoradiation with or without maintenance chemotherapy for treatment of squamous-cell carcinoma of the anus (ACT II): a randomised, phase 3, open-label, 2×2 factorial trial
    R D James and others
    The Lancet Oncology. 2013. 14 (6) 516 - 524

  • Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology (10th edition)
    VT De Vita, TS Lawrence and SA Rosenberg
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2015

Information and help

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.​