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Radiation therapy is an anal cancer treatment option in which high-energy waves are used to destroy cancer cells. This therapy may be administered on its own but is more often used in conjunction with another treatment option, such as surgery or chemotherapy. At Moffitt Cancer Center, the multispecialty team that makes up our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program collaborates regularly as a tumor board to review each patient’s case, ensuring you’ll receive a treatment plan that’s tailored to your unique needs.

Types of radiation therapy

If radiation therapy is recommended as part of your anal cancer treatment plan, there are two different ways that it may be administered:

  • External-beam radiation therapy (EBRT) – This is the most common method for administering radiation therapy and involves the use of a machine that delivers high-energy waves from outside the body.
  • Internal radiation therapy – Also called brachytherapy, a radioactive "seed" is placed inside of the body to deliver the radiation therapy internally.

When radiation therapy is part of your treatment plan

In many cases, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy as a primary treatment for anal cancer. It may also be used following surgery to destroy any lingering cancer cells or in advanced cases in which the cancer has reappeared in the lymph nodes or spread to other areas of the body. At Moffitt, our team takes into account the type and stage of the cancer as well as its location and your general health to determine your treatment plan. Additionally, as a patient receiving anal cancer treatment at Moffitt, you’ll have access to all of the supportive care services you need under the same roof to aid in all aspects of your recovery.

If you have been diagnosed with anal cancer and would like to learn more about radiation therapy or any of the other treatment options available at Moffitt, fill out a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients with or without a referral.