Anal cancer

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If anal cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the anus to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If anal cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • lymph nodes around the rectum (called the perirectal lymph nodes)
  • lymph nodes in the groin (called the inguinal lymph nodes)
  • lymph nodes in the pelvis (called the internal iliac lymph nodes)
  • rectum
  • bladder
  • urethra
  • vagina or prostate
  • liver
  • lungs
  • bone

Stories

Stephanie Hermsen Thanks to the incredible progress in retinoblastoma research made possible by Canadian Cancer Society funding, my son won’t have to go through what I did.

Read Stephanie's story

Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more