Find out about survival for anal cancer.
Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. 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.
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 65 out of 100 (around 65%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, April 2016 (people diagnosed between 2009 – 2013)
These statistics are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than cancer. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival.
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.