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Large intestine and rectal cancer

The rectum is the last section of the large intestine leading to the anus. Cancer in large intestine and rectum are lot similar but treatments methods are different.
Common symptoms of colon and rectal cancer include:

  • Frequent diarrhea, constipation or more-frequent painful bowel movements
  • Dark or red blood and mucus in stool
  • Narrow stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue

Causes of rectal cancer

Rectal cancer occurs normal cells develop genetic mutation and starts growing rapidly and get accumulated forming tumors in the area. The cancer cells grow to invade and destroy surrounding normal tissue and travels to other parts of the body. Family history and inherited gene mutations increase the risk of colon and rectal cancer


The doctor conducts various tests to diagnose colon and rectal cancer and includes colonoscopy in which a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a video camera attached to its tip is inserted to view the stage and spread of cancer inside the colon and rectum. Few blood tests and imaging studies are performed for staging rectal cancer and includes complete blood count test, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test, Chemistry panel test, CT (computed tomography) scan and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Rectal cancer stages

Stage 0: Cancer cells on the surface of the rectal lining

Stage I. Tumor extending below the rectal mucosa

Stage II. Tumor extending into or through the rectal wall

Stage III. Tumor invading lymph nodes next to the rectum

Stage IV. Tumor spread to a distant organ or lymph nodes from the rectum

Treatment options

Rectal cancer treatment is performed through multimodal therapy which involves more than one treatment method at a time and the treatment options include:

Surgery: Surgery is performed to remove the tumor from the colon and rectum and this depends on the various factors including:

  • Stage of the cancer
  • The location and size of the tumor in the rectum
  • Patient age, general health and medical history

Surgery procedures include:

  • Abdominoperineal resection with end colostomy
  • Coloanal anastomosis
  • Low anterior resection
  • Local excision
  • More-extensive surgery

Chemotherapy: chemotherapy involves using high dose strong chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is performed alone or in combination with radiation therapy, before or after surgery.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves emitting high-powered beams to kill cancer cells.

Combination therapy: for advanced stages of rectum cancer combination of chemotherapy and radiation is performed. Advantages of chemoradiotherapy include:

  • Increased response to radiation because of chemotherapy's effect on cancer cells
  • Reduced tumor size
  • Lowered cancer stage
  • Surgery will leave the anal area intact
  • Lower chances of cancer recurrence

Palliative care: Palliative care is specialized medical care provided for cancer patients to relief from pain and other symptoms of the disease and aims to improve the quality of life for the patients.
At Kims hospital we provide latest and effective large intestine and rectal cancer treatments from well qualified and experienced specialist’s and doctors with care and compassion. To know more about large intestine and rectal cancer treatments and treatment cost, book an appointment now.