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Rectal Cancer

  • Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment


The rectum is the last six inches of the large intestine where the stool collects and passes out through the anus. Rectal cancer usually starts as a small abnormality on the surface called a polyp, which grows gradually. Some polyps can become cancerous. There is also a hereditary from of this cancer.

Early Symptoms

There nay be no symptoms of rectal cancer or only slight ones if any.

  • Blood in the stool or in the rectum
  • Lasting diarrhea, constipation or difficulty in bowel movements
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • A persistent pressure even after you’ve just had a bowel movement
  • Weakness, fatigue or weight loss
  • Anemia


A case of bleeding rectum or blood in the stool should be brought to the notice of your doctor immediately.


  • Medical History
  • Physical Examination
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Colonoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Testing for genetic mutations


Surgery: It is the most common procedure for many stages of rectal cancer. However, many rectal cancers can be treated by a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Chemoptherapy: It may be used with radiation therapy before surgery to shrink the tumour. It may also be given after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.

Radiation Therapy: It is also used to shrink the tumour before surgery and to prevent the tumour from growing back after it.