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Stages and types

The stage of anal cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. There are different ways of staging anal cancer. There is the TNM system and the number staging system. 

The type tells you which type of cell the cancer started in.

Types of anal cancer

The type of anal cancer you have depends on the type of cell the cancer started in. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of anal cancer. 

TNM Staging

Tumour, node and metastasis (TNM) staging is one of the systems used to stage anal cancer.

Anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN)

Anal intraepithelial neoplasia means there are abnormal cells within the lining of the anus.

Stage 1

Stage 1 anal cancer means that the cancer is less than 2cm in size and hasn't spread to any nearby tissue, lymph nodes or other organs. 

Stage 2

Stage 2 anal cancer is bigger than 2 cm. It hasn't spread to any nearby tissue, lymph nodes or other organs. 

Stage 3

Stage 3 anal cancer has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes. It hasn't spread to distant body parts. 

Stage 4

Stage 4 anal cancer means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver. It is also called advanced anal cancer.

Last reviewed: 
26 Apr 2019

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