Cancer starts when cells in the body start to grow out of control. Rectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. This cancer can also be named as colon cancer, depending on where they start. Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths are called polyps.
How rectal cancer spreads?
If cancer forms in a polyp, it can grow into the wall of the colon or rectum over time. The wall of the colon and rectum is made up of many layers. Rectal cancer starts in the innermost layer (the mucosa) and can grow outward through some or all of the other layers. The stage (extent of spread) of a colorectal cancer depends on how deeply it grows into the wall and if it has spread outside the colon or rectum. Bowel cancer may also be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is located and begins.
We, at CAN-C provide rectal cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Here, you will find information about signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors, types, diagnosis, staging and prevention about rectal cancer.
Some of the symptoms of rectal cancer are listed below:
Change in bowel habits (such as diarrhoea, constipation, or narrow stool that lasts more than a few days)
Unexplained abdominal pain or cramping
A persistent urge to have a bowel movement that doesn't go away after you have one
Unexplained weakness and fatigue
Unintended weight loss for no known reason, fatigue
Anal or rectal pain
A lump in the anus or rectum
Blood in the stools
Some causes and risk factors that increase your risk of rectal cancer include:
Age: most commonly affects people over the age of 50
Physical inactivity: If you're not physically active, you have a greater chance of developing rectal cancer
Smoking and High alcohol consumption: People who have smoked tobacco for a long time can affect rectal cancer risk
Being overweight or obese
Polyps: the presence of polyps in the bowel
Certain types of diets: A diet that's high in red meats and processed meats raises your rectal cancer risk
Inherited genetic risk and family history
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The type of rectal cancer depends on what type of cell it starts in.
Adenocarcinoma: The vast majority of rectal cancer is adenocarcinoma. This is a cancer of the cells that line the inside surface of the rectum.
Carcinoid tumors: Carcinoid is a type of slow growing tumour called a neuroendocrine tumour. They grow in hormone producing tissue, usually in the digestive system.
Lymphomas: Lymphoma is cancer that starts in the lymph glands or other organs of the lymphatic system.
Leiomyosarcomas: Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It more commonly starts in the lymph nodes but can start in the rectumy
A number of tests are used to diagnose rectal cancer.
Blood test: You may have a blood test to see if there are any signs that you are losing blood in your stools. It can also check your red blood cell count.
Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body. Knowing the stage helps to decide what kind of treatment is best and can help predict a patient's prognosis, which is the chance of recovery. There are different stage descriptions for different types of cancer.
The TNM system is used to stage rectal cancer, and it helps understand what your cancer looks like. The TNM stands for:
The extent (size) of the tumor (T): How far has the cancer grown into the wall of the colon or rectum?
The spread to nearby lymph nodes (N): Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes?
The spread (metastasis) to distant sites (M): Has the cancer spread to distant lymph nodes or distant organs such as the liver or lungs?
We provide comprehensive treatment for rectal cancer in Bangalore.
There are things you can do to help lower your risk.
Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Get regular exercise: If you are not physically active, you may have a greater chance of developing rectal cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of getting rectal cancer. If you are at a healthy weight, work to maintain your weight by combining a healthy diet with daily exercise.
Limit alcohol. Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Don't smoke: Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop rectal cancer.
The treatments for rectal cancer depend on the stage at which the cancer has been diagnosed, as well as the general health of the individual. If the cancer is diagnosed very early then surgery may be all that is required. However, often surgery is followed by chemotherapy (drug treatment) or radiation therapy depending on the site of the cancer.
Our multidisciplinary team provides patients with expertise in screening, diagnosis and a wide variety of advanced treatment options for rectal cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Surgery is usually the main treatment for rectal cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy are often given before or after surgery. The type of surgery used depends on the stage (extent) of the cancer, where it is, and the goal of the surgery.
Surgery may be done for different reasons. You may have surgery to:
1. Completely remove the tumour and nearby lymph nodes
2. Completely remove cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the pelvis, liver or lung
3. Remove as much of the tumour as possible (called debulking) before other treatments
4. Reduce pain or ease symptoms (called palliative surgery)
The extent of the surgery will depend on your cancer.
1. Polypectomy and local excision
2. Local transanal resection (full thickness resection)
3. Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM)
4. Low anterior resection (LAR)
5. Proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis
6. Abdominoperineal resection (APR)
7. Pelvic exenteration
8. Diverting colostomy
Radiotherapy is used very commonly for rectal cancers. Combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy is often used for cancers in the rectum before surgery is performed to improve the chance of the tumour being completely removed by surgery. Sometimes radiation therapy is given after surgery if it looks like the cancer has not all been removed or if lymph nodes (glands) are found to have cancer in them. Depending on the stage and location of your cancer, you may be recommended either one or a combination of these treatments. Radiation therapy alone can also be used if surgery is not possible. High-energy X-ray radiation is directed at the area of the tumour to destroy any remaining cancer cells and stop them from spreading.
Types of Radiation Treatment & Therapy:
External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) - Uses a machine outside of the body to direct radiation toward the cancer. This is the approach most commonly used.
Internal Radiotherapy - Uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters and placed directly into or near the cancer.
Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) - A form of external beam radiation therapy, using small beams of varying intensity.
Intraoperative-Radiotherapy (IORT) - Another radiation option, given during surgery, for late-stage or recurrent cancer.
Radiofrequency Ablation & Cryosurgery - Radiofrequency ablation (using high-intensity heat to destroy a tumor) or cryosurgery (the use of extreme cold to destroy a tumor) for patients whose tumors can't be removed by surgery.
We at CAN-C, deliver the latest in rectal cancer treatment in Bangalore.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for rectal cancer is usually given after surgery if the cancer is larger or has spread to the lymph nodes. In this way, chemotherapy may kill any cancer cells that remain in the body and help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
Chemotherapy is used to stop or limit the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells. It can be taken:
1. By mouth (oral chemotherapy offered orally as a tablet or capsule)
2. Injected into a vein (intravenous chemotherapy)
3. Placed directly into the abdomen (regional chemotherapy)
Chemo may be used at different times during treatment for rectal cancer:
1. Adjuvant chemo is given after surgery. The goal is to kill any cancer cells that might have been left behind at surgery because they were too small to see, as well as cancer cells that might have escaped from the main tumor and settled in other parts of the body but are too small to see on imaging tests. This helps lower the chance that the cancer will come back.
2. Neoadjuvant chemo is given (sometimes with radiation) before surgery to try to shrink the cancer and make it easier to remove. This is often done for rectal cancer.
3. For advanced cancers that have spread to other organs like the liver, chemo can be used to help shrink tumors and ease problems they're causing. While it's not likely to cure the cancer, this often helps people feel better and live longer.
We are committed to provide the best rectal cancer treatment (in Bangalore) and improve patients' quality of life.
Targeted therapies are newer cancer treatments that work more selectively than standard chemotherapy. They target a gene or protein responsible for allowing cancer to grow, they seek out and damage cancer cells. Targeted therapies are drugs that block the growth of cancer by interfering with the molecules involved in tumor growth and spread.
Newer drugs have developed to specifically target the gene and protein changes in cells that cause rectal cancer. Targeted therapy drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy (chemo) drugs. They can be used either along with chemo or by themselves if chemo is no longer working.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a protein that helps tumors form new blood vessels (a process known as angiogenesis) to get nutrients they need to grow. Drugs that stop VEGF from working can be used to treat some rectal cancers. These include:
These drugs are given as infusions into the vein, in most cases along with chemotherapy. When combined with chemo, these drugs can often help people with advanced rectal cancers live longer.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that uses certain parts of a person's immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. The goal of immunotherapy is to boost a patient's immune reaction to the cancer cells, allowing them to fight the disease more effectively. An important part of the immune system is its ability to keep itself from attacking the body's normal cells. To do this, it uses "checkpoint" proteins on immune cells, which act like switches that need to be turned on (or off) to start an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes use these checkpoints to keep the immune system from attacking them. But drugs that target these checkpoints hold a lot of promise as cancer treatments.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) are drugs that target PD-1, a protein on immune system cells called T cells that normally help keep these cells from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking PD-1, these drugs boost the immune response against cancer cells.
Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is another drug that boosts the immune response, but it has a different target. It blocks CTLA-4, another protein on T cells that normally helps keep them in check.
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