Rectal Cancer

Below you will find more information about Rectal Cancer from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Rectal Cancer it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Rectal Cancer and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Rectal Cancer comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Rectal cancer pertains to carcinoma affecting the last 6 inches of colon or large intestine, which is the lower part of the digestive system. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are sometimes collectively called colorectal cancers.

Diagnosis

Rectal cancer can be diagnosed by screening for adenomatous polyps, or masses which can potentially become cancerous. Screening procedures done to determine rectal cancer include: stool sample analysis, stool blood test, stool DNA test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy.

Treatment

A procedure known as colectomy, or surgical removal of the colon, is the primary mode of treatment available for treating rectal cancer. The extent of colon to be removed will depend on the severity and location of the cancer. In addition, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also recommended, along with medications to manage symptoms.

Symptoms and Signs

Common signs and symptoms of rectal cancer include: prolonged rectal bleeding; presence of blood in stools; growth of rectal mass that obstructs normal stool passage; intense abdominal pains and cramps; a sensation that stool cannot be completely excreted following bowel movement; and unintended weight loss.

Causes

Although the specific cause of rectal cancer is not known, it is believed to develop as a result of a variety of environmental and genetic factors. Smoking, aging, family history of colon or rectal cancer, high-fat diets, plus personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer are common risk factors in rectal cancer.

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