Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Treatment Options for Anal Cancer

Different types of treatment have different goals. Below is a list of different anal cancer treatments and their goals. You may have more than one of these treatments.

Radiation Therapy

The goal of this treatment is to kill cancer cells using X-rays. This is a common treatment for anal cancer. Radiation can be used with or without chemotherapy.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can cause the tumor to shrink. Chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy can cure most anal cancers without the need for surgery.


The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor from the anus, while leaving as much of the anus as possible intact. In most cases, surgery for anal cancer is no longer needed.

Research is ongoing in the field of anal cancer.

Clinical Trials

New medicines and treatments are tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, ask your doctor if there are any clinical trials you should check on.

Stanford has ongoing clinical trials for different types of gastrointestinal cancers, including anal cancer.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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