Cancer is a scary word. It’s a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. But if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with rectal cancer, it’s essential to know that treatments are available.
What is Rectal Cancer?
Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is the last section of the large intestine, and it connects the colon to the anus. Rectal cancer typically starts in the rectum’s lining and can spread to nearby lymph nodes and other tissues.
Most cases of rectal cancer are adenocarcinomas, which start in cells that produce mucus and other fluids. Other types of rectal cancer include sarcomas, which start in connective tissue cells, and neuroendocrine tumours.
Symptoms of rectal cancer can include bleeding from the rectum, a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation, and abdominal pain. Rectal cancer is often diagnosed early on through screening tests, such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Rectal cancer treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Signs and Symptoms of Rectal Cancer
The most common symptom of rectal cancer is bleeding from the rectum. Other symptoms may include:
– A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation
– Rectal pain or discomfort
– Feeling that you need to have a bowel movement even when you don’t
– Loss of appetite
– Weight loss
Treatment of Rectal Cancer
Several different rectal cancer treatment options are available for patients with rectal cancer. The type of rectal cancer treatment right for a particular patient will depend on several factors, including the stage and grade of cancer, the patient’s overall health, and their preferences.
Surgery is the most common treatment for rectal cancer. Depending on the stage of cancer, surgery may be used to remove just the tumour (local excision), a portion of the rectum (partial colectomy), or the entire rectum (total proctectomy). In some cases, surgery may also be used to relieve symptoms such as blockage or bleeding.
In addition to surgery, other treatments for rectal cancer include:
– Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be used before or after surgery and may be combined with chemotherapy.
– Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be given intravenously (through a vein) or orally (in pill form). Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy.
– Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a newer treatment that targets specific genes or proteins involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. It is often used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy.
– Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy works by stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells. The immune system is made up of many different types of cells, including T cells and B cells. T cells are responsible for killing cancer cells, while B cells produce antibodies that help to destroy them. Immunotherapy can help to improve the function of these cells and make them more effective at fighting cancer. There are several different immunotherapy treatments available for rectal cancer, and they are usually given in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery.
There are many different treatment options available for rectal cancer. You can find a cancer hospital near me; your best choice depends on your situation. However, surgery is often the first line of treatment, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In some cases, a combination of all three treatments may be recommended. Whichever route you take, working with a team of experienced medical professionals is essential to ensure the best possible outcome.