The stage of a cancer describes its size and if it has spread from where it started. Knowing the stage helps the doctors decide on the best treatment for you.
Generally, anal cancer is divided into four stages. This ranges from cancers that are small and only in the anus (localised) to cancers that have spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer has spread, it is called secondary or metastatic cancer.
If a cancer comes back after it is first treated, it is called a recurrent cancer.
The staging systems most commonly used for anal cancer are:
- TNM staging
- the number staging system.