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Stage 2

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

Diagram showing stage 2 anal cancer

Stage 2 anal cancer is divided into 2 groups - 2A and 2B. 

Stage 2A

Stage 2A means that the cancer is larger than 2cm but smaller than 5cm. It hasn't spread to any nearby tissues, lymph nodes or other parts of the body. 

Stage 2B

Stage 2B means the cancer is larger than 5cm and hasn't spread to any nearby tissues, lymph nodes or other parts of the body. 

TNM staging

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

In the TNM staging system:

  • stage 2A is the same as T2, N0, M0
  • stage 2B is the same as T3, N0, M0


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


The main treatment for stage 2 anal cancer is chemoradiotherapy. This means you have chemotherapy and radiotherapy together.

You might have surgery if the cancer comes back or hasn't gone completely after chemoradiotherapy. 

Other stages

Last reviewed: 
24 Apr 2019
  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (8th Edition)
    M Amin and S Edge.
    Springer, 2017.

  • Anal cancer: ESMO-ESSO-ESTRO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    R. Glynne-Jones and others
    Annals of Oncology 2014. Volume 25, Pages iii10-iii20

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