For more information from the National Cancer Institute about rectal cancer, see the following:Colon and Rectal Cancer Home PageWhat You Need to Know About™ Cancer of the Colon and RectumColorectal Cancer PreventionColorectal Cancer ScreeningTests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and PolypsUnusual Cancers of ChildhoodCryosurgery in Cancer Treatment: Questions and AnswersDrugs Approved for Rectal CancerTargeted Cancer TherapiesUnderstanding Cancer Series: Targeted Therapies(Advances in Targeted Therapies)Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer SyndromesFor general cancer information and other resources from the National Cancer Institute, see the following:What You Need to Know About™ CancerUnderstanding Cancer Series: CancerCancer StagingChemotherapy and You: Support for People With CancerRadiation Therapy and You: Support for People With CancerCoping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative CareQuestions to Ask Your Doctor About CancerCancer LibraryInformation For
The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above. Editorial changes were made to this summary.
Call 1-800-4-CANCERFor more information, U.S. residents may call the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. A trained Cancer Information Specialist is available to answer your questions.Chat online The NCI's LiveHelp® online chat service provides Internet users with the ability to chat online with an Information Specialist. The service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Information Specialists can help Internet users find information on NCI Web sites and answer questions about cancer. Write to usFor more information from the NCI, please write to this address:NCI Public Inquiries Office9609 Medical Center Dr. Room 2E532 MSC 9760Bethesda, MD 20892-9760Search the NCI Web siteThe NCI Web site provides online access to information on cancer, clinical trials, and other Web sites and organizations that offer support
Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the treatment of rectal cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.Reviewers and UpdatesThis summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Board members review recently published articles each month to determine whether an article should:be discussed at a meeting,be cited with text, orreplace or update an existing article that is already cited.Changes to the summaries are made through a consensus process in which
Primary Surgical TherapyThe primary treatment for patients with rectal cancer is surgical resection of the primary tumor. Local excision of clinical T1 tumors is an acceptable surgical technique for appropriately selected patients. For all but T1 tumors, a mesorectal excision is the treatment of choice. Very selected patients with T2 tumors may be candidates for local excision. Local failure rates in the range of 4% to 8% following rectal resection with appropriate mesorectal excision (total mesorectal excision [TME] for low/middle rectal tumors and mesorectal excision at least 5 cm below the tumor for high rectal tumors) have been reported.[1,2,3,4,5]The low incidence of local relapse following meticulous mesorectal excision has led some investigators to question the routine use of adjuvant radiation therapy. Because of an increased tendency for first failure in locoregional sites only, the impact of perioperative radiation therapy is greater in rectal
Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.) Related Summaries Other PDQ summaries containing information related to rectal ...
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)In FOBT testing, a person collects stool samples that are analyzed for the presence of small amounts of blood. Collection details vary somewhat for different tests, but typically involve collection of as many as three different specimens on 3 different days, with small amounts from one specimen smeared by a wooden stick on a card with two windows or otherwise placed in a specimen container.The guaiac test identifies peroxidase-like activity that is characteristic of human and nonhuman hemoglobin. Thus, it will record blood from ingested meat, upper airway bleeding such as epistaxis, upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, as well as colonic lesions.Five controlled clinical trials have been completed or are in progress to evaluate the efficacy of screening utilizing the FOBT. The Swedish trial is a targeted study for individuals aged 60 to 64 years. The