Anal Cancer Treatment

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Treatment depends on the size, location, and stage of the tumor. MSK’s team of anal cancer experts includes radiation oncologists, colorectal surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, sexual health specialists, and pelvic floor physical therapists. We work together to diagnose, stage, and create a treatment plan that’s best for you.

Radiation Therapy for Anal Cancer

The best treatment for cancer that has not spread is radiation therapy. It often is combined with chemotherapy, and called chemoradiation. The chemotherapy helps the radiation work better to kill the cancer.

Our radiation oncologists are experts at targeting radiation at the tumor while keeping nearby healthy tissue safe. We offer methods that help keep your body working normally by protecting your bowel and sexual functions.

Surgery for Anal Cancer

Surgery is not the main treatment for anal cancer. It’s an option if anal cancer comes back (recurs) after radiation or chemotherapy. Depending on the tumor stage, your doctor may talk with you about having surgery with chemotherapy or radiation.

MSK’s anal cancer surgeons are very experienced in removing tumors without harming nearby organs. We use minimally invasive methods with robotic tools. Minimally invasive surgery is done with small incisions (cuts), which can mean a faster recovery and less pain.

Chemotherapy for Anal Cancer

Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancer. It often is given with radiation therapy or surgery. It can also be used when cancer has spread to other areas. Your care team will use genetic information about the tumor to plan your chemotherapy treatment. This approach helps with side effects.