Survival depends on different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.

Doctors usually work out the outlook for a certain disease by looking at large groups of people. Because this cancer is less common, survival is harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.

Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.

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

You can also talk about this 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.

5 year survival statistics are available for some stages of anal cancer in England. These figures are for people diagnosed between 2013 and 2017. These 5 year statistics are non-age-standardised which means they don't take into account the age of the people with anal cancer. 

Stage 1

Almost 90 out of 100 people (almost 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. 

Stage 2

Almost 80 out of 100 people (almost 80%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 3

Around 60 out of 100 people (around 60%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 4

The Office for National Statistics doesn't provide 5 year survival statistics for stage 4 anal cancer. The following statistics are for 1 year survival for people with stage 4 anal cancer.

(Please remember, this doesn't mean you will only live 1 year. It relates to the number of people who are still alive 1 year after their diagnosis of cancer. Some of these people will live much longer than 1 year.)

More than 50 out of 100 people (more than 50%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed.

Survival for all stages of anal cancer

Generally, for people with anal cancer in England:

  • 85 out of 100 people (85%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more
  • around 60 out of 100 people (around 60%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more
  • more than 50 out of 100 people (more than 50%) survive their cancer for 10 years or more

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 terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and researchers collect information. They watch what happens to people with cancer in the years after their diagnosis. 5 years is a common time point to measure survival. But some people live much longer than this.

5 year survival is the number of people who have not died from their cancer within 5 years after diagnosis.

More statistics

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

Last reviewed: 
30 Apr 2019
  • 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

  • Anal cancer survival statistics
    Cancer Research UK (Accessed April 2019) 

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