Rectal cancer is the cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum.
The rectum is part of your digestive system and forms the last several inches of the large intestine.
When the cells lining the rectum become abnormal and grow out of control, a cancer tumor forms.
Rectal cancer is most often detected in men and women over 50 years of age. Smoking and a diet high in fats and low in fiber can generate rectal cancer.
There are various types of treatments available for patients with rectal cancer. Usually, four types of standard rectal cancer treatments are used. They include:
1. Surgery as rectal cancer treatment:
Surgery is the most commonly preferred of all cancer stages. Here are the various types of surgeries used for cancer removal:
Polypectomy: If your cancer is caused by a polyp in the rectum, it can be removed by means of a colonoscopy.
Local excision: If the cancer is detected beneath the surface of the rectum and does not extend into the walls of the rectum, the cancer and some surrounding tissues are removed by local excision.
Resection: If the cancer spreads into the wall of the rectum, a portion of rectum and some nearby healthy tissues are removed. Sometimes, tissues between the rectum and abdominal walls are also removed. Lymph nodes near the rectum are removed and observed under the microscope for any signs of cancer.
Pelvic exenteration: If the cancer spreads to the nearby organs of the rectum, lower colon, or bladder, then the cancer is removed by means of pelvic exenteration. In women, ovaries, cervix, vagina and nearby lymph nodes are removed. In men, the prostate may be removed.
Chemotherapy or cancer radiation therapy is given before performing the surgery to shrink the tumor and makes it easier to remove the cancer and reduce bowel problems after surgery. In addition, after the surgery, some patients are given radiation therapy and cancer chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancer cells.
2. Radiation therapy:
This cancer treatment uses high energy x-rays or other forms of radiation to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy is of two types: external radiation therapy, in which radiation is sent by using a machine outside the body, and internal radiation therapy, in which radioactive substances are sealed in seeds, catheters, wires or needles and directly placed into or near the cancer tumor. The type of radiation therapy given mainly depends on the stage and type of the cancer.
In this therapy, drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells. It is of two types, such as systemic chemotherapy and regional chemotherapy.
4. Monoclonal antibody therapy:
In this therapy, antibodies made in the laboratory are given by infusions. They can kill the cancer cells, keep them from spreading or block their growth.