Anal Cancer

Expert care for cancer of the anus

A smiling mature woman plays with her dog outdoors, representing the full life that can be led after anal cancer treatment.

Expert care for cancer of the anus

Scripps physicians and cancer specialists are experts in diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent anal cancer. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and Scripps Green Hospital among the best in the nation for gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery.


Our cancer care teams combine expertise and compassion with the most advanced technologies to develop personalized treatment plans that target anal cancer while preserving healthy tissue. Our multidisciplinary, collaborative board of cancer specialists reviews the most complex care plans to ensure patients receive the best possible care from diagnosis to recovery.

About anal cancer

Anal cancer is an intestinal cancer that starts in the anus, which is the opening at the lower end of the intestines. The anus is connected to the rectum by the anal canal, which goes from the rectum to the outside skin of the anus (known as the anal verge). Most anal cancer starts in the mucosa, the inner lining of the anal canal.


According to the American Cancer Society, anal cancer is not common, but the number of new cases has been rising for many years. It usually affects older adults, with the average age at diagnosis in the early 60s. The lifetime risk of anal cancer is about 1 in 500, and women have a slightly higher risk than men. Treatment for anal cancer is often very effective, especially when it is found early.

Anal cancer symptoms, diagnosis and stages

There may be no anal cancer symptoms during the early stages of the disease. But being aware of the signs and symptoms may help you recognize them sooner.

Treatment and clinical trials

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with anal cancer, you need a team of specialized physicians with expertise in treating the disease. Our multidisciplinary teams fight anal cancer using advanced treatments and therapies.

Anal cancer treatment locations

Scripps diagnoses and treats anal cancer at numerous locations throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista and La Jolla to Encinitas and beyond, our extensive network of Southern California cancer care centers includes:


  • Four Scripps hospitals on five campuses
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Specialty cancer treatment centers


Visit cancer care locations for details of each cancer hospital, clinic and specialty center.

Support groups, services and resources

As leaders in anal cancer care, we know what it takes to fight a winning battle. That’s why we equip our patients with the support and resources necessary to achieve their best possible outcome. From connecting you with support groups and services to empowering you with the latest resources and research, Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup to help you along every step of your cancer journey.