Anal Cancer Survival

Cancer survival rates are usually discussed in terms of 5-year relative survival, which means the proportion of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis. Keep in mind that statistics like these are based on large groups of people and cannot predict what might happen with an individual patient. In addition, the most current national data is from patients diagnosed between 2015 and 2019, which doesn’t reflect the impact of the latest treatment advances.

In the United States, overall survival (including all stages of disease) among people diagnosed with anal cancer is 70.1%. The National Cancer Institute records survival rates using three very broad categories:

  • Localized disease. In patients with early-stage, localized cancers where the cancer is confined to the primary site, 5-year survival is 83.3%.
  • Regional disease. Among those whose cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes, the survival is 67.3%.
  • Distant disease. Patients with anal cancer that has metastasized to other body areas at the time of diagnosis, have a survival rate of 35.9%.

How Roswell Park optimizes your survival 

As a national leader in cancer care, Roswell Park’s approach includes several components that maximize survival and quality of life, including:

  • Avoiding surgery whenever possible in order to preserve sphincter function and quality of life.
  • Access to the latest treatment advances. We are able to offer our patients more treatment options through clinical trials, offering these newest approaches years before they become available to other providers.
Breakthrough immunotherapies are making an impact in anal cancer, and this is only possible through clinical trials. You can get standard care anywhere, but at Roswell Park, we are always trying to move the bar so that more patients can benefit from these new options.”
Sarbajit Mukherjee, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Department of Medicine