The stage of a cancer describes its size and whether it has spread from where it started. Knowing the extent of the cancer helps the doctors to decide on the most appropriate treatment.
Generally, anal cancer is divided into four stages, ranging from small and localised, to cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer has spread, this is known as secondary or metastatic cancer.
If the cancer comes back after initial treatment, it’s known as recurrent cancer.
The most commonly used staging systems are number staging and the TNM staging system.