What is it?

Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the rectum.
The rectum is part of your body’s digestive system, which process food and helps pass waste material out of the body. Together, the rectum and anal canal make up the last part of the large intestine and are 6-8 inches long.
Rectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp inside the large intestine, that slowly evolved into a malignant tumor.
Like most cancer types, rectal cancer is divided into stages, according to how much it has spread out of the intestine into the rest of your body.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs of rectal cancer include blood in the stool, change in bowel habits (size, texture or frequency), abdominal pain and weakness.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by colon cancer or by other conditions.


Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam including a digital rectal exam. The following tests might be done next:
-blood tests to check for any abnormalities and tumor markers
-Colonoscopy- a procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. If abnormal area was found, a biopsy, in which a small piece of tissues is taken out so it can be viewed under a microscope, will be done.
-Imaging tests such as a CT scan.


There are different types of treatment for patients with rectal cancer. The treatment depends on the type of cancer, its stage and your general health:
-Surgery – to remove the cancer
-Chemotherapy- medication that will kill cancerous cells or stop their growing.
-Radiation therapy- high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation used to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. It is often done before surgery to shrink the tumor.
-Targeted therapy- drugs or other substances that are aimed to attack specific cancer cells.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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