Survival depends on many factors, so no one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness.
Statistics for this cancer are 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).
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.
The statistics below are grouped by the T stage. T stage refers to the size of the cancer and whether it has grown into surrounding organs.
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.
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
Survival for all stages of anal cancer
Generally, for people with anal cancer in England:
- around 85 out of 100 people (around 85%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- almost 65 out of 100 people (almost 65%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more
- more than 55 out of 100 people (more than 55%) survive their cancer for 10 years or more.
Net survival and the probability of cancer death from rare cancers.
Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Accessed July 2016.
The statistics are for adults diagnosed with anal cancer between 2009-2013 in England.
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account the background mortality that they would have experienced if they had not had cancer.
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. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.
Some people live much longer than 5 years.
For more in-depth information about survival and anal cancer, go to our cancer statistics section.