Rectum is located at the lowest part of the large intestine. Connection between the final segment of the colon and opening of anus is done by the rectum. Cancer at this portion of body may lead to severe damages to physique. This type of cancer resembles highly of Colon Cancer, but the recommendations for Rectal Cancer Treatment are entirely different.
This disease can be guessed through a proper observation of the following symptoms:
- Change in the bowel habits, e.g. rise of diarrhea, constipation etc
- Mucus in stool
- Dark and red blood in stool
- Abdominal pain
- Bowel movements is painful
- Anemia that incarnates Iron Deficiency
- Weight Loss
- Growth of cancer cells in rectum is due to development of errors in the DNA. Hues are unknown in most of the cases. With damaged DNA, cells continue to divide even when these are not required. With the accumulation of cells, tumors are seen to grow.
- Passing of gene mutations from parents to children also increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Mutations, though, are involved within a small percentage of such cancers.
According to a cancer specialist, the disease is seen to persist or even increase when one or a number of the following factors are there:
- Higher age: Research shows that the average age for colorectal cancer is 50 or above.
- Personal History: When the patient already has experienced the invasion for once, he is more prone to a second attack.
- Inflammatory bowels: Chronic inflammatory disease of the colon and rectum, e.g. Chron’s disease increases the risk.
- Family History of Colorectal Cancer: Such cancer is more likely to develop for those people who have a past record of invasion with this cancer
- Dietary factors: With consumption of diet low in vegetables and high in red meat increases the possibility of colorectal cancer to a greater degree.
- Diabetes: Diabetic patient are more prone to invasion from colorectal cancer
- Smoking: Increased risk of cancer is invariably associated with consumption of alcohol and smoking
- Obesity: Obese people have high risk of having Colorectal Cancer. They are even more prone to dying of this disease.
The consulting doctor will first undergo some physical examination of the patient. These are aimed to check general signs of health, searching for lumps or other unusual growth. Personal health habits, past illness and treatments are also put under scrutiny.
A doctor may opt for five different styles for treatment of Rectal Cancer. These include
a. Surgery: It undertakes the following methods:
- Polypectomy and observation in case of polyps alone.
- Abdominoperineal resection with Total Mesorectal excision (APR) with permanent end colostomy
- Low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision (LAR)
- Surgery in the palliative setting
b. Chemotherapy + Radiaton : Adjuvant or Neo adjuvant setting
Oncology is an ever evolving field of medicine and is matter of research and development. The author per say does not claim the following to be guidelines of practice in oncology. These are part of patient awareness initiative by Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti MCh (Surgical Oncology) to educate people at large of various options in Oncology. It should not be taken to be practice guidelines.