Description of Colorectal Cancer | Stages of Rectal Cancer and Causes | 2021

Rectal Cancer
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Rectal cancer is distinct from anal cancer, which affects the area between the rectum and the exterior of the body.

Because the words colon cancer and colorectal cancer are frequently interchanged, a lot of the information you’ll find on colon cancer also applies to rectal cancer.

However, rectal cancer differs from cancer detected higher up in the colon in terms of surgical treatment. Rectal cancer is expected to kill 43,340 people by 2020.


Rectal cancer is typically thought to be a disease of the elderly, however incidences among those under the age of 50 are on the rise. There is a minor male predisposition, which isn’t found in other large bowel tumours.

Presentation at the Clinic

Changes in bowel habits or rectal bleeding are common in patients.


Adenocarcinomas make up the great majority of rectal tumours (98%) and are followed by carcinoid tumours, lymphoma, and GIST.

What’s Rectal Cancer (RC)?

Rectal cancer develops when cells in the rectum’s wall grow out of control. Tumors are large groupings of these out-of-control cells.

Rectal Cancer

When normal tissue in the rectum wall produces an adenomatous polyp, or pre-cancerous growth, on the rectal wall lining, these tumours develop. The tumour arises when the polyp becomes bigger.

This process can take many years, giving opportunity for screening techniques to identify cancer early. Adenocarcinoma is the common type of rectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer (CC)

Colorectal cancer, often called colorectal carcinoma, is a cancer that affects the colon and/or the rectum. A colonoscopy, CT colonography, or an air-contrast barium enema may be used to identify your illness.

Your doctor may order blood tests, an abdominal and pelvic CT, PET/CT, pelvic MRI, or an endorectal ultrasound to assess the malignancy and search for signs of spread.

Surgery may be necessary depending on the size, extent, and stage of the malignancy. In severe situations, radiation therapy, such as external beam therapy, may be required (EBT). Chemotherapy may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce the chances of the tumour recurring elsewhere in the body.

Rectal cancer is a disease that affects people of all ages.

Rectal cancer affects both men and women, with males having a slightly higher risk of developing the disease. The condition affects persons over the age of 50 in the majority of instances. Rectal cancer can also strike teenagers and young adults.

Rectal Cancer

Rectal cancer: how prevalent is it?

Rectal cancer affects around 5% of the population. Approximately 11% of those persons will be under 50 years old.

The location of colorectal cancer is important.

The final 12 cm of the large intestine are known as the rectum. Hardiman believes it’s difficult to tell where one finishes and the other begins. “To detect whether a cancer is in the colon or the rectum, you need specialist training and a lot of expertise.”

What difference does it make? “Because the rectum lacks the same protective outer layer (known as the serosa) as the colon, tumours are more likely to break through and spread locally,” Hardiman explains. ” As a result, rectal cancer is 10 times more likely to return after treatment than colon cancer is”.

Stages of Rectal Cancer & Spreads

Knowing what stage of cancer, you have is crucial because it tells you and your physicians if it has spread. The phases of rectal cancer, on the other hand, might be difficult to understand.

We’ll tell you the gist of it:

Stage – 0

The malignancy is still in the rectum or bowel’s innermost lining at this stage.

Stage – 1

Rectal Cancer

The malignancy has now spread to the interior lining. It hasn’t made it through the rectal or intestinal wall’s major muscular layer.

Stage – 2

The tumour has broken through the wall and may have spread to adjacent organs at this point. It hasn’t spread to any other organs or lymph nodes in the body.

Stage – 3

The malignancy has progressed to the lymph nodes at this point.

Stage – 4

The cancer has spread throughout the body and is highly advanced at this time.


Colorectal cancer is one of the top causes of cancer-related fatalities in the United States. Early detection can frequently result in a complete recovery.

Almost of colon cancers begin in the rectum and colon lining. This is generally what physicians refer to when they talk about colorectal cancer.

A multitude of causes can lead to colon cancer. Nearly all colon cancers start out as noncancerous (benign) polyps that progress into malignancy over time.

You’re more likely to have colon cancer if you:

  • You’re over 45 years old.
  • Are you of African or Eastern European ancestry?
  • Consume a large amount of red or processed meats.
  • Have polyps in the colorectal region.
  • Suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis).

Rectal Cancer affects who?

Rectal cancer has yet to be identified. Rectal cancer becomes increasingly common as people age, with more than 90% of cases occurring beyond the age of 50.

A personal history of inflammatory bowel illness such as ulcerative colitis, colorectal polyps, or malignancies of other organs, as well as a family history of colorectal cancer (particularly in close relatives), are other risk factors.

Signs & Symptoms

Other illnesses might be causing some of the symptoms of rectal cancer.

These signs and symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion and weakness.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Stomach discomfort, gas, cramps, and pain on a regular basis.

Other rectal cancer indications and symptoms include:

  • Changes in the frequency of your bowel motions.
  • You have the impression that your bowels aren’t emptying fully.
  • Discomfort when having a bowel movement.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • A little stool.
Rectal Cancer

Is there a difference between Rectal Cancer & Colon Cancer?

Both of these malignancies are found in the large intestine. They can produce the same symptoms and are diagnosed in the same way, with a colonoscopy being the most common method of diagnosis.

Colon and rectal cancers, on the other hand, may be treated differently. Colon cancer, which starts in the first five feet of the large intestine and is located in the abdomen, is most commonly treated with surgery. A surgeon can operate in the belly since it is a rather wide and open place.

Rectal cancer is frequently treated with surgery, which is typically used in conjunction with other treatments. The rectum, on the other hand, can be more difficult to operate on.

The rectum is bordered by pelvic bones, and the space around it is more packed. For women, the rectum is adjacent to the bladder, as well as the vagina and uterus, and for men, the prostate.

Tumors in the lower rectum may be near to the anal sphincter muscle, which is necessary for appropriate toilet use. All of these characteristics can influence rectal cancer therapy options.

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