What is Rectal Cancer?
Rectal cancer occurs with the uncontrolled proliferation of cells in the rectum region of the large intestine. Rectal cancer has been identified as the third most common cancer type in women and men.
While rectal cancer can occur at any age, it is more likely to be detected in individuals over the age of 40. The risk of developing rectal cancer doubles every 10 years. And individuals over the age of 70 represent the age group in which the disease is most frequently detected.
Cancerous cells form rectal cancer in rectal tissues. This type of cancer is mostly caused by polyps found in the lining of the rectum. And it is detected together with colon cancer. For this reason, cases where rectum and colon cancer are seen together in medical language are called 'Colorectal Cancer'.
What Are the Symptoms of Rectal Cancer?
Rectal cancer manifests itself with many different symptoms. However, in some patients, this type of cancer is detected only by routine screening without any symptoms.
Symptoms of rectal cancer seen in men and women are as follows;
- Bleeding in the rectum and blood in the stool are the most common symptoms. Considering the scientific data, bleeding symptoms are observed in 8 out of 10 patients.
- painful bowel movements,
- Discomforts such as constipation, diarrhea and excessive amount of gas,
- Feeling that the bowel is empty
- The problem of not being able to defecate enough and not being able to go to the toilet completely despite going to the toilet frequently,
- mucus in stool,
- An unexplained weight loss
- Changes in stool size – mostly pen-thin to exclude,
- It is the severe pain and cramps in the abdominal region due to intestinal obstruction due to the tumor blocking the exit path.
Rectal Cancer Risk Factors
The causes of rectal cancer have not yet been determined definitively. However, there are many different factors for the risks that cause cancer.
Rectal cancer risk factors are listed as follows;
- Rectal cancer mostly occurs in advanced ages.
- Alcohol and cigarette consumption are among the important factors that trigger rectal cancer.
- Familial residues and genetic structure are very important risk factors for rectal cancer .
- Diabetes increases the incidence of rectal cancer.
- A sedentary life and obesity trigger rectal cancer.
- Animal-based and high-fat diet is among the causes of rectal cancer.
- The incidence of rectal cancer is higher in people with polyps in the large intestine.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases can be a precursor to rectal cancer.
Diagnosis and Diagnosis of Rectal Cancer
In order to diagnose and diagnose rectal cancer, it is necessary to investigate the complaints that individuals have experienced. Or, during the screening, rectal cancer can be diagnosed. There are 4 different stages of this disease. Detection in the early stages allows the treatments to be applied much more successful.
There are basic methods used in the diagnosis of rectal cancer.
- GGK-Stool Occult Blood Screening; With the stool occult blood test, the presence of blood in the stool is detected and analyzed. Occult blood means blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye after defecation but is found in the stool. Since it is one of the most important symptoms of rectal cancer, it is investigated during the diagnosis process.
- colonoscopy; A thin tube with a camera at the end is inserted through the anus and it is determined whether there is a problem in the inner part of the rectum and colon.
- Biopsy; When a suspicious situation is observed during colonoscopy, a small sample is taken from that area and it is checked whether the suspected lesion is cancerous.
Rectal Cancer Treatment
rectal cancer treatment varies depending on the stage of the cancer and the type of cancer. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgical operations are mainly applied in the treatment of rectal cancer.
Depending on the stage of the disease, in some cases, it is possible to remove the tumor with the help of surgical operations and thus to clean the cancerous cells. A single surgical operation may be sufficient for this.
In some cases, only chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be applied. This type of application is preferred for patients who are not suitable for surgical operation.