Allied Digestive Health will be attending DDW 2023! Visit us at booth #4207 from May 6th to May 9th. We look forward to seeing you there!
Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum, which is the last part of the large intestine before reaching the anus. It typically starts as small growths called polyps on the inner lining of the rectum and can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
Rectal cancer can originate from various types of polyps, the most common being adenomatous polyps, also known as adenomas. Over time, some of these cells within polyps can accumulate genetic mutations that cause them to become cancerous. Factors that may contribute to the development of rectal cancer include age, family history, diet, and lifestyle choices such as smoking or heavy alcohol use.
Certain inherited conditions like Lynch syndrome, also known as Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC), or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) can also contribute to Rectal Cancer concerns.
There are different types of rectal cancer, depending on the type of cells that are affected. These include:
Early stages of rectal cancer may not have any noticeable symptoms. As the cancer progresses, common signs and symptoms may include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor for further evaluation and potential diagnosis.
Rectal cancer is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation and diagnostic tests. Physicians often start with a detailed medical history and perform a physical examination, which may include a digital rectal exam (DRE). Diagnostic tests typically follow and can include:
Early detection and diagnosis are crucial in the management and treatment of rectal cancer, often improving the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome.
While the exact causes of rectal cancer are still unknown, certain risk factors may increase a person’s chances of developing it. These include:
Treatment for rectal cancer depends on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as a person’s overall health.
There is a variety of specific treatments used to combat rectal cancer, categorized based on the stage and individual patient factors:
Each of these treatments may be used alone or in combination, depending on a variety of factors, including the cancer’s specific characteristics and the patient’s preferences and overall health.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent rectal cancer, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk:
If rectal cancer is left untreated, the consequences can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Cancer cells can continue to grow and multiply, which may lead to the tumor increasing in size and invading nearby organs and tissues. Without intervention, the cancer might also spread to distant parts of the body—a process known as metastasis—which can affect the liver, lungs, and other areas.
This progression can cause further complications, hinder the functionality of affected organs, and significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life. Ultimately, without treatment, rectal cancer can be fatal. Individuals must seek prompt medical attention if they experience any symptoms or are at an elevated risk for colorectal cancers.
© Allied Digestive Health. All Rights Reserved.