Rectal Cancer

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Know more about Rectal Cancer

Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells create in the tissues of the rectum; colorectal cancer appears in the colon or rectum. Adenocarcinomas contain the vast majority (98%) of the colon and rectal cancers; rarer rectal cancers involve lymphoma (1.3%), carcinoid (0.4%), and sarcoma (0.3%).

The occurrence and epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, and screening advice are common to both colon cancer and rectal cancer.

Types of Rectal Cancer

Most people who are identified with rectal cancer have a type called adenocarcinoma. There are other unusual tumor types too. These other types of rectal cancer may be medicated differently than adenocarcinoma. The section of this guide on the diagnosis and treatment of rectal cancer mention primarily to adenocarcinoma.


The large majority of rectal cancer is adenocarcinoma. This is a cancer of the cells that line the inside surface of the rectum.

Carcinoid Tumors

Carcinoid tumors start in hormone-generating cells in the intestines.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors can be a type of soft tissue sarcoma that can be developed anywhere in the gastrointestinal area but is rare in the rectum. These tumors can also be other types of sarcoma that begin in the blood vessels or connective tissue of the colon. 


Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It more commonly begins in the lymph nodes but can start in the rectum. 

Hereditary Rectal Cancer

About 5 to 10 percent of people get colorectal cancer because of particular mutations in the genes that are passed from parents to children, which are introduced to as hereditary. MSK’s experts may provide you genetic testing to see if you have hereditary mutations in your genes that can increase your cancer risk. Whether you should have this testing is based on a judgment of your personal risk. Learn more about genetic testing for colorectal cancer and the types of hereditary conditions that frequently lead to the disease.

Rectal Cancer Stage 

Rectal cancers are into one of five possible stages (stage 0 through stage 4). 

Stage 0. Cancer cells on the area of the rectal lining (mucosa), sometimes within a polyp

Stage I. Tumor increasing below the rectal mucosa, sometimes penetrating into the rectal wall

Stage II. Tumour increasing into or through the rectal wall, sometimes extending and growing on or sticking to tissues next to the rectum

Stage III. Tumour invading lymph nodes next to the rectum, as well as organize and tissues outside the rectal wall

Stage IV. Tumour expand to a distant organ or lymph nodes distant from the rectum

Rectal Cancer Symptoms 

Requires a medical diagnosis

Colorectal cancer symptoms based on the size and location of cancer. Some commonly knowledgeable symptoms insert changes in bowel habits, changes in stool consistency, blood in the stool and abdominal discomfort.

People may experience

Pain areas: in the abdomen

Gastrointestinal: blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, constipation, narrow stools, or passing excessive amounts of gas

Whole-body: anemia or fatigue

Also common: abdominal discomfort or weight loss

Rectal Cancer Causes 

Cancer of the colon or rectum, situated at the digestive tract's lower end.

Early cases can start as non-cancerous polyps. These frequently have no symptoms but can be detected by screening. For this reason, doctors advised screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.

Rectal Cancer Treatment 

Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location and how far cancer has expanded. Common treatments insert surgery to remove cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Rectal Cancer Generic Medicines

The list inserts generic and brand names. 

Drugs accepted for Rectal Cancer

Avastin (Bevacizumab), Camptosar (Irinotecan Hydrochloride), Cetuximab, Cyramza (Ramucirumab), Eloxatin (Oxaliplatin), Erbitux (Cetuximab), Bevacizumab, Capecitabine