UNDERSTANDING RECTAL CANCER
Rectal cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the rectum.
The rectum is the last part of your colon, which is just before your anus.
Rectal cancers are usually found as a result of screening for colorectal cancers or other symptoms such as bleeding and discomfort in the lower abdomen.
SYMPTOMS OF RECTAL CANCER
HOW TO DIAGNOSE?
The majority of rectal cancer cases are detected during routine screenings. A doctor may confirm the cancer by knowing the symptoms and also recommend some tests for diagnosis.
This test report helps in understanding the complete blood level count of red blood cells and white blood cells. Having low red blood cells indicates that a tumor is causing blood loss, and having high white blood cells indicates infection.
The CT scan is a medical procedure that uses x-rays to take pictures of the body’s insides. Once the images have been captured, they are combined by a computer to create detailed, three-dimensional images.
An MRI generates detailed images of the body using magnetic fields rather than x-rays.
An examination under a microscope is carried out during a biopsy. In this process removal of tissue for testing help in confirming cancer by having a biopsy performed.
You can see your colon and rectum using a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) attached to a video camera and monitor. This may help in understanding the cancer status and position.
In addition to your overall health and personal preferences, your treatment for rectal cancer depends on several factors, such as:
- location of cancer
- At what stage is it?
- Size of cancer
- Surgical removal of small cancers from the rectum: If your cancer is small and unlikely to spread to nearby lymph nodes, you might be recommended this procedure. Depending on the size of the rectal cancer, a colonoscope or other specialized scope may be used to remove it. Cancer can be removed with surgical tools passed through the scope.
- Surgically removing the entire or part of the rectum: During this procedure, the rectum may be removed completely or partially in cases of larger rectal cancers that are far from the anal canal. It preserves the anus, which ensures normal waste removal. On the basis of the cancer’s location, this procedure is carried out.
- A procedure that removes the rectum and anus: There is a possibility that rectal cancers near the anus might not be completely removed without damaging the muscles that control bowel movements. These situations typically require abdominal perineal resection (APR), which involves removing the colon, rectum, and nearby tissue and lymph nodes with the procedure.
A chemotherapy treatment is used to destroy cancer cells after surgery, to ensure that any cancer cells left over are destroyed.
Combined with chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy may be recommended for advanced rectal cancer. To kill cancer cells, these treatments target specific abnormalities in the cells.
When people have rectal cancer, radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy, which makes the cancer cells more likely to be damaged by radiation. Using this therapy cancer cells can be killed after surgery, or shrinked before surgery to make surgery easier.
The purpose of immunotherapy is to boost your immune system and help your body in fight cancer cells.