Sometimes doctors discover anal cancer during a routine physical exam or minor procedure. Some kinds of anal cancer may not cause symptoms until they're at an advanced stage. Your doctor may recommend the following tests to help diagnose anal cancer:
If the tests show cancer, the next step is to see whether it has spread within the anus or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging. It is important for determining your treatment options.
Imaging tests may be done as part of the staging process. These may include:
Tumors of the anal canal are grouped into a set of stages. Stage 0 is the earliest stage, while stage IV is the most advanced. Sometimes anal cancer comes back after treatment. This is called recurrent anal cancer.
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