Get To Know “Rectal Cancer”

Colon and Rectal Cancer Follow-Up Care Expanded Version | ASCRS

Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the rectum. Sometimes cancerous tumors develop relatively close to the anal canal, a short tube at the end of the rectum through which stool leaves the body. It is commonly found in both male and female. Major contributing factor to develop rectal cancer is related to the family history of cancer, especially first-degree relatives. A wide range of signs and symptoms of rectal cancer might include rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, irregular stool patterns such separate hard lumps, a feeling of incomplete defecation, persistent changes in bowel habits including diarrhea or constipation, or alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation, abdominal discomfort such as cramps or pain, fatigue or weakness and unintentional weight loss. In addition, manifestations are determined by disease severity, location and its stage.

Hemorrhoids have certainly shared similarities with rectal cancer. If these warning signs and symptoms exhibit, immediate medical attention must be sought in order to receive appropriate and timely treatments. The differences involve:

  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids with bulge might be palpable inside the anus. It might protrude through the rectum and spontaneously returns to their original position inside the rectum. Common symptoms are swelling, pain or discomfort, itching or irritation in the anal region and straining during bowel movements with frequent defecation.
  • Rectal cancer: Masses are discovered inside the anus by the specialists and cannot be seen externally. There is no presence of protruding mass. Pain in the anal region is rarely found. Symptoms include frequent bowel movements with a feeling of incomplete defecation and stool with mucus or blood stains.

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