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.
Doctors also use another staging system for anal cancer called the TNM staging system. It stands for tumour, node and metastasis:
- T describes the size of the tumour
- N describes whether there are any cancer cells in the lymph nodes
- M describes whether the cancer has spread to a different part of the body
Stage 1 is the same as T1, N0 and M0 in the TNM staging system.
Treatment for stage 1 anal cancer
The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:
- your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
- where the cancer is in your anus
- other health conditions
You might have surgery if your cancer is near the anal margin and is less than 2cm in size. This operation is called a local resection.
You might also have surgery if the cancer comes back or hasn't gone completely after chemoradiotherapy.
You might have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) for stage 1 anal cancer if your cancer:
- is larger than 2cm
- involves the anal sphincter
- involves the anal canal