The treatment you have for anal cancer depends on where in your anus the cancer is, how big it is and whether it has spread to anywhere else in your body. Your general health can also affect what treatment you have.  

A team of doctors and other professionals will discuss your treatment options with you. 

Treatment decisions

The treatment you have depends on the stage and position of your cancer. Most people with anal cancer have radiotherapy and chemotherapy combined (chemoradiotherapy). 

Chemoradiotherapy for anal cancer

Chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy is called chemoradiotherapy. You might have it as your main treatment for anal cancer.


You might have surgery for very early stage anal cancer. Or you might have it if your cancer comes back or hasn't gone completely after chemoradiotherapy.


Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to kill anal cancer cells. You usually have it combined with chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). 


Read about when, where and how you have chemotherapy for anal cancer, and the possible side effects.

Follow up

After treatment, you have regular check ups at the hospital. You might also have tests. Over time, these appointments become less frequent. 

Last reviewed: 
15 Apr 2019
Coronavirus and cancer

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