Rectal Cancer

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Rectal Cancer

If you see blood in your stool or your bowel patterns change, it could be a sign of rectal cancer, which affects about 5% of people in their lifetime. At Arizona Preferred Surgeons in Glendale, Arizona, the board-certified general surgeons remove rectal cancer to prevent it from spreading. Call the office today to schedule an appointment or book one online.

Rectal Cancer Q & A

What is rectal cancer?

Rectal cancer develops when cancer cells appear in your rectum, the lowest part of your large intestine between your anus and colon. When left untreated, rectal cancer can spread and be life-threatening.

Board-certified surgeons offer modern, evidence-based, minimally invasive procedures to manage colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms of rectal cancer?

Symptoms you could experience if you have rectal cancer include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

If you suspect you have rectal cancer, the sooner you seek treatment, the better are your chances of a good outcome. Many providers recommend getting screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45.

What are the risk factors for rectal cancer?

Anyone can develop rectal cancer. It affects both women and men, but men have a slightly higher chance of getting it. Additional risk factors include:

  • Being over 50
  • Family history of rectal cancer
  • Smoking
  • Eating processed meats
  • Weight challenges
  • Chronic diseases

Having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, both inflammatory bowel diseases, appears to raise your risk of getting rectal cancer.

How does my provider diagnose rectal cancer?

To find out if you have rectal cancer and need surgery, your provider discusses your medical history and symptoms with you. They complete a physical exam and could recommend a colonoscopy, biopsy, and an imaging procedure like a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan.

How should I prepare for rectal cancer surgery?

If you need surgery to remove cancerous rectal tissues, you’ll be given instructions on how to prepare. Stop taking any medications your provider asks you to, arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery, and don’t eat or drink anything the morning of your procedure. Plan to use a bowel prep to flush out your colon and rectum.

What should I expect during the procedure?

Providers at Arizona Preferred Surgeons give you an anesthetic to make you fall asleep before rectal cancer surgery. They make tiny incisions to remove cancerous tissues and close the incisions. After a recovery period, you can have a family member or friend drive you home.

What happens after rectal cancer surgery?

After rectal cancer surgery, follow your surgeon’s instructions. Begin with a liquid diet, then move on to soft foods. Get plenty of rest, take your medications as directed, and avoid strenuous activity until your surgeon gives you the OK. Attend all your follow-up appointments.

To prevent complications, you might need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or additional rectal cancer treatments.

Call the Arizona Preferred Surgeons office today or schedule an appointment online if you have rectal cancer and need surgery.