As the name indicates, rectal cancer begins at the rectum, the last several inches of the large intestine. The colon begins at the end of your last segment and ends at the narrow passage that leads to your anus. Cancer of the rectum (rectal cancer) and cancer of the colon (colorectal cancer) are often referred to as “colorectal cancer.”
Although they have many similar characteristics, their treatments are quite different. Because the rectum sits in such a small space, it barely separates from other organs and structures. As a result of the tight space, removing rectal cancer can be a complex procedure. Rectal cancer survival rates have significantly increased as a result of recent advancements in treatment.
What are the signs & symptoms of rectal cancer?
Rectal cancer may initially show no symptoms. Rectal bleeding is the most typical symptom when the malignancy gets worse. Your bowel habits could change and stay that way for a while. Additionally, you can feel unjustified weariness and weakness.
Some common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in the frequency of bowel movement
- Pain during bowel movement
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Blood or mucus in your stools
- Unexpected appetite
- Changes and weight loss
- Unjustified drowsiness
- Abdominal pain, cramps, and gas regularly
- Another possibility is Iron-deficiency anemia, which can result from blood loss.
How does it spread?
Rectal cancer, like other cancers, can spread when malignant cells proliferate in healthy tissue and move to different parts of the body.
Rectal cancer may initially affect the rectum’s lining tissues. In certain instances, the entire rectum is impacted. After then, cancer may spread to surrounding lymph nodes or organs, usually the liver. The following are some other metastasis-prone regions:
What causes rectal cancer?
The exact cause of rectal cancer
is uncertain. However, some risk factors, such as the following, raise your likelihood of contracting the illness:
Age: Rectal cancer risk increases with age, like other cancers. Both men and women get diagnosed at an average age of 63.
Gender: Men are somewhat more likely than women to have rectal cancer.
Race: According to statistics, Black people have a higher risk of developing rectal cancer. The causes of this are still not completely known.
Family history: Your chance of getting rectal cancer is roughly two times higher if you have a relative diagnosed with it.
Various illnesses and conditions: Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can increase your risk of developing rectal cancer.
Smoking: According to recent studies, smokers are more likely than non-smokers to pass away from rectal cancer.
Processed meat consumption: Red and processed meat eaters are more likely to acquire rectal cancer.
Obesity: Compared to persons who are deemed to be a healthy weight, those who are obese are more prone to develop rectal cancer.
How Is Rectal Cancer Treated?
During rectal cancer treatment
, surgery is usually necessary for a full recovery. Depending on the area and stage, this may be done through the anus (rectal orifice) or the abdomen. During surgery for rectal cancer, the tumor, lymph nodes, and a little part of the normal rectum on either side of it are all removed.
Typically, only a very small percentage of individuals require the creation of a colostomy, which involves exposing the intestine to a bag on the skin. Depending on the characteristics of your malignancy, skilled surgeons may do minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon can discuss all these aspects with you before the procedure.