Anal cancer is a rare cancer form that starts in the anus -- the opening at the end of the rectum. When diagnosed early, anal cancer is highly treatable.
When the cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is quite high. But after the cancer has spread to surrounding lymph nodes, the same five-year survival drops down. The prognosis is not so good if the cancer has spread to distant organs.
Anal cancer is primarily treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery is only for patients failing the above therapy. The treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer, location of tumor is in the anus, whether the patient has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and whether cancer remains after initial treatment or has recurred.
There are certain factors that affect the prognosis and treatment. The prognosis depends on the following:
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