What’s rectal cancer:
To understand the manifestations of rectal cancer you need to know first some details about rect. The rectum is the terminal portion of the large intestine, where it is temporary storaged the faeces, before being discharged from the body.
The rectal cancer often causes no symptoms and it is discovered to digital examination or routine proctoscopy.
The changes in bowel habits may include: diarrhea, constipation, fecal shape modification. Intestinal obstruction can cause abdominal pain and bloating. Approximately 75% colorectal cancers are sporadic or develop in patients with a similar family medical history.
Rectal cancer risk factors:
As rectal cancer risk factors we have: diet, alcohol, smoking, bile acids, hereditary factors, inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease .
How is it treated rectal cancer:
Although radical rectal resection is the main therapy, surgery for rectal cancer has an increased recurrence rate. Radiation therapy may be applied after the surgery, during surgery or preoperative, with or without chemotherapy. Usually, the disease recurs in 5-30% of patients in the first year of chemotherapy. Factors that influence are: primary tumor grade and stage, primary tumor location.
What are the symptoms of rectal cancer:
- Bleeding: occurs in 60% of patients and is often attributed to other causes such as hemorrhoids;
- Changes in bowel habits; occurs in 43% of patients and they manifest as diarrhea;
- Occult bleeding: occurs in 26% of patients and is detected with hemoccult screening test;
- Back pain: a sign that the tumor invades the nerve trunks;
- Urinary symptoms: may occur if the tumor invades the bladder or prostate;
- Malaise: occurs in 9% of cases;
Rectal cancer screenings:
- Rigid lighted instrument: it allows direct visualization of lesions and the degree of obstruction. It is used to obtain biopsies;
- Endorectal ultrasound: evaluates rectal cancer with invasion depth accuracy of 72-94%;
- Chest X-ray: to see if the patient has a disease and to exclude pulmonary metastases;
- CT Scan: to determine the presence of metastases.
- Positron emission tomography: to differentiate recurrent tumors by measuring tissue metabolism.
This blog post is an educational resource only and does not replace a medical consultation with a doctor .
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