Cancer, rectal

Other names: Rectal cancer

DEFINITION

Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells in the rectum — the last section of your large intestine. Rectal cancer is often grouped together with colon cancer, and together they're called colorectal cancer. Rectal cancer most often begins in the cells that line the inside of the rectum. Colorectal cancer screening tests can discover rectal cancer before it begins or at its earliest stages — when treatment has the greatest chance for success. Rectal cancer treatment often involves surgery to remove the cancer. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be used as well.


QUESTIONS

  1. What is rectal cancer?

Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells in the rectum.

  1. How is rectal cancer related to colon cancer?

Rectal cancer is often grouped together with colon cancer, forming colorectal cancer.

  1. Where does rectal cancer typically begin?

Rectal cancer most often begins in the cells that line the inside of the rectum.

  1. How can colorectal cancer screening help with rectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer screening tests can discover rectal cancer before it begins or at its earliest stages.

  1. What are some common treatments for rectal cancer?

Surgery to remove the cancer is a common treatment for rectal cancer, along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  1. Why is early detection important in treating rectal cancer?

Early detection of rectal cancer increases the chances of successful treatment outcomes.

  1. Are there risk factors associated with developing rectal cancer?

Risk factors for rectal cancer include age, family history, and certain lifestyle choices like smoking and diet.

  1. Can rectal polyps lead to rectal cancer?

Yes, rectal polyps can sometimes develop into rectal cancer if left untreated.

  1. What are some symptoms of rectal cancer?

Symptoms of rectal cancer may include changes in bowel habits, blood in stool, abdominal discomfort, and unexplained weight loss.

  1. Is genetic testing recommended for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancers?

Genetic testing may be recommended for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancers to assess their risk and guide preventive measures.