Anal Cancer

Duke’s colorectal specialists in Raleigh and Durham use the latest medical and surgical advances to detect and treat anal cancer at the earliest possible stage. We have the advanced training and expertise needed to perform sphincter-sparing procedures that remove anal tumors while reducing your chance of having a permanent colostomy bag to collect the waste that leaves your body. We give you the personalized care you need to maximize your quality of life and your colorectal health.

Duke’s colorectal specialists in Raleigh and Durham use the latest medical and surgical advances to detect and treat anal cancer.

Medical Advances in Anal Cancer

If you or someone you know is concerned about anal cancer, you need an experienced and skilled healthcare team. The colorectal physicians and surgeons in our nationally ranked cancer center work closely with anal cancer patients every day. Our researchers are skilled in advanced diagnostic techniques that are available in only a handful of major medical centers. We continue to test new therapies, including new ways to deliver targeted radiation therapy that spares healthy tissue, and explore genomics, which studies genes, how they function, and their impact on health. Our goal is to provide you with more personalized colorectal treatment options.

Choose Duke for your anal cancer treatment because we offer:

  • One-day evaluations. As a first-time patient here, you will undergo a thorough, day-long evaluation and consultation, and you'll leave with a comprehensive treatment plan that meets your needs. We can expedite the process even further if you bring the results of scans and/or blood work that were performed prior to your visit. If you need additional imaging or testing, those services are conveniently located within our facilities.
  • Targeted radiation treatments. Sophisticated technology allows us to better target the maximum dose of radiation directly to your cancer, while minimizing exposure and possible damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Because radiation is delivered more precisely, fewer treatments are needed.
  • A nationally ranked program. We are consistently ranked among the best cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. We are a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and are part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving care for our patients.
  • Comforting environment. Our Duke Cancer Center features spacious waiting areas, a Quiet Room, large infusion rooms, and a rooftop garden area where patients — based on their treatment regimen — can receive chemotherapy outdoors.
  • Access to our clinical trials. You may be eligible to participate in our ongoing clinical trials, which give you access to new anti-cancer targeted therapies, new surgical approaches, and ways to minimize common cancer-related symptoms, all before they become widely available at other hospitals.
  • High-definition colonoscopy. We routinely use high-resolution imaging scopes to create clearer images that better detect, and allow for removal of, polyps and cancer not seen with standard colonoscopy. 
  • More minimally invasive procedures. Nearly 80 percent of surgeries are performed with a thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope, which is inserted in the body through small incisions. This less invasive method is used to identify, and sometimes remove, tumors. As a result, you’ll experience smaller wounds, less pain and scarring, and lower incidence of infection. It is also likely you'll leave the hospital sooner, and recover faster.
  • A team of experienced specialists. Our anal cancer specialists — medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, pathologists, geneticists, specially trained nurses, nutritionists and social workers — meet regularly to discuss your care, collect opinions, and offer coordinated and advanced surgical, medical and follow-up care. 
  • Support for you and your loved ones. Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.  



Finding anal cancer early and obtaining an accurate diagnosis is key to your health. Several methods are used to detect and diagnose anal cancers.

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