The large intestine consists of colon, which is also called as bowel while the small intestine comprises of rectum followed by the anal canal. Rectum’s main purpose is excretion of undigested food through anus from our body. The inner most wall of rectum is called mucosa, which secretes mucus that lubricates the stool’s passage so that it excretes smoothly.
When a person suffers from rectal cancer, the tumor is harmless initially. With time it starts spreading all over the rectum and colon to lymph nodes as well. The tumor spreads to the other divisions of the body through blood stream and gradually damage other organs. The line of action for treatment depends upon the level of cancer.
Memorial Hermann North Houston Endoscopy and Surgery hospital is the largest nonprofit organization. They have around 5500 physicians with 26000 employees all together. They have Houston’s best diagnostic center with advance technologies and equipment. They have the best doctors, who deal with cancer related issues. Related to rectal cancer they say there are few symptoms that indicate it’s time for a thorough check up –
- Sudden changes in bowel behavior.
- Blood in stool
- Weight loss, anemia and fatigue
- Pelvic pain and uneasiness in passing stool
Colon rectal cancer happens due to these reasons –
- Excess of saturated food and less fiber diet.
- Family or genetic medical history
- Inactivity for long time
There are different types of surgery for rectal cancer depending upon its severity.
- Polypectomy as well as local excision is an initial method in which instruments are inserted through anus to remove cancerous tissues from rectum. This method is used when the cancer is at its beginning stage and isn’t that harmful.
- Local transanal resection is done when surgeon inserts an instrument through anus and cuts the walls of rectum to remove cancerous tissue and also some more tissues nearby to avoid any infection.
- Transanal endoscopic microsurgery is done when the above step is impossible because cancer has spread rapidly, but is still in stage 1. This operation through anus needs special equipment and experience.
- Low anterior resection is carried out when cancer is in stage 2 or 3. The part of rectum that has tumor is removed completely, thus this requires a small surgery in stomach.
- Sometimes, when cancer spreads in second or third layer of rectum then the entire rectum is removed through Proctectomy with colo anal anastomosis and the colon is joined to anus so that your body functions normally.
- When cancer spread towards the anus, it is removed through abdominoperineal resection and your rectum and colon is attached to a gap in the abdomen so that the excretion process works smoothly.
- Pelvic exenteration is done when the nearby organs are getting affected due to rectal cancer. Including rectum the affected organs are also removed.
- Some patients have to undergo diverting colostomy where the blockage is removed without removing rectum.
These surgical steps are followed with radiation and chemotherapy if required.