Chance of cure/prognosis | Anal Carcinoma

Chance of cure/prognosis

In the case of anal carcinoma, the chances of recovery are very good in comparison to many other cancers if treatment is given in time. The prognosis for anal carcinoma depends on the size of the tumour and how far it has grown into the tissue. If the sphincter is not affected, the chances of survival are very good and in almost all cases a cure can be achieved through surgery or a combined treatment consisting of radiation and chemotherapy.

If the sphincter is affected by the tumour, the survival rate of all affected patients decreases, but healing can still be achieved in the majority of cases. A poor prognosis exists in people with anal carcinoma in whom tumour cells have already spread to the lymph nodes. In any case, regular follow-up examinations are important after a successful therapy. These include a rectal endoscopy every three months for the first two years after treatment. Thereafter, a six-monthly check-up is sufficient if the findings are unremarkable.

Life advice/chance of survival

The survival rate for tumour diseases is usually given as a 5-year survival rate, i.e. what percentage of people with a comparably advanced disease are still alive after 5 years. In the case of a very small anal carcinoma that has not spread and has not grown into neighbouring organs, this rate is almost 100% after surgical removal of the tumour. Even larger tumours often still respond well to the combined therapy of radiation and chemotherapy.

In the case of more advanced tumours that have already grown into the sphincter muscle, 50 % to 70 % of those affected are still alive after 5 years. The worst chance of survival is with a very advanced tumour that has already spread into the lymph nodes. The 5-year survival rate drops to below 40 %.

However, since anal carcinoma usually manifests itself early, advanced stages are less common. It is therefore very important to consult a doctor in good time if you have the corresponding symptoms.