Tests and next steps

Main tests for anal cancer

You might have some tests and scans to check for anal cancer if a GP refers you to a specialist.

The tests you have will depend on your symptoms.

The tests may include:

Read more about tests to diagnose anal cancer on Cancer Research UK.

Getting your results

You should get the results of your tests within a few weeks

Try not to worry if your results are taking longer than you expected. You can call the hospital or GP if you're worried. They should be able to update you.

A specialist will explain what the results mean and what will happen next. You may want to bring someone with you for support.

Important: Get support when testing for cancer

You may be feeling anxious about what your results may be.

If you're concerned or need support before and after your test, you may find it useful to talk to:

You can also read more information and advice on coping with anal cancer on Cancer Research UK.

If you're told you have anal cancer

Being told you have anal cancer can feel overwhelming. You may be feeling anxious about what will happen next.

It can help to bring someone with you to any appointments you have.

A group of specialists will look after you throughout your diagnosis, during and after treatment.

Your team will include a clinical nurse specialist who will be your main point of contact during and after treatment.

You can ask them any questions you have.


Macmillan Cancer Support has a free helpline that's open every day from 8am to 8pm.

They're there to listen if you have anything you want to talk about.

Call: 0808 808 00 00

Next steps

If you've been told you have anal cancer, you may need some scans.

These, along with the tests you've already had, will help the specialists find out the size of the cancer and how far it has spread (called the stage).

Cancer Research UK has more information about what cancer stages and grades mean.

The specialists will use the results of these tests and work with you to decide on the best treatment plan for you.

Page last reviewed: 8 March 2021
Next review due: 8 March 2024