The rectum is the last part of the large intestine, also called the colon. It ends at the anus, which is a few inches long and allows you to have bowel movements. While the rectum is continuous with the colon, it has distinct features.
Colorectal cancer can occur anywhere in the large intestine, including the rectum. However, cancer limited to the rectum is called rectal cancer.
Treating rectal cancer is more complex than colon cancer. The rectum’s confined space and proximity to other organs adds challenges. Thus, prevention and early detection are crucial.
Our expert colorectal surgery team in Greater Hartford recommends evaluating rectal cancer’s early signs and pursuing treatment promptly. We detect, diagnose, and treat rectal cancers at our offices in Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Plainville, CT.
Let’s define anal cancer as cancerous growths affecting only the anus. Its incidence has risen markedly in recent years.
This article will cover early warning signs and treatment to prevent anal cancer.
Here are early rectal cancer signs to watch for, along with recommended regular colonoscopies for early detection:
– Stool consistency or shape changes.
Normal stool has a smooth, sausage-like shape. Rectal disorders like cancer can cause abnormal discharge such as diarrhea, constipation, or pencil-thin stools. Food allergies can also cause diarrhea and constipation. However, chronic changes should not be dismissed. Pencil-thin stools may indicate rectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s.
– Blood and mucus in stool.
Blood can signify rectal cancer, colon cancer, or other serious colon conditions. Contact your doctor right away. Mucus indicates irritated rectal tissue, which inflammation from infection, inflammation, cancer, or other conditions can cause.
– Pelvic pain.
Colon cancer is often asymptomatic, but pelvic pain may signal rectal cancer. Women may mistake this for typical premenstrual pain. However, pain continuing after menstruation could indicate rectal cancer.
Anal cancer can cause several symptoms, including persistent itching, pain, discharge, bleeding, or a tumor in the anus. These symptoms often resemble those of anal fissures or hemorrhoids. Anal cancer mainly affects those over 60 years old. If these symptoms are present, immediate medical attention and testing are needed.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent anal cancer, but risks can be reduced by quitting smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke, practicing safe sex, getting the HPV vaccine between ages 8-26, and getting regular STD checks.
Anal cancer treatment depends on many factors like age, health, cancer stage and size. Options include chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, radiation to destroy cells, immunotherapy to boost the immune system against cancer, and surgery to remove tumors. For advanced cases, extensive surgery may be required, including removing the anus, rectum or colon. This requires a colostomy procedure to allow waste removal