Manhattan Rectal Cancer Surgery
Experienced & Caring New York Surgeons
Rectal cancer is a very common form of cancer for both men and women. The
rectum is continuous with the colon (large intestine) and is approximately
15 centimeters in length, ending with the anus.
Most cases of rectal cancer are asymptomatic and diagnosed by screening
colonoscopy, however since symptoms are not always specific to this disease,
thorough testing is very important. The exact cause is unknown, but most
cases arise from polyps (growths) of the lining of the colon.
At Manhattan Surgical Associates, our colorectal surgeons are prepared
to offer you with testing and treatment for rectal cancer in any stage.
Call us today at 646.798.4606.
Diagnosis & Symptoms of Rectal Cancer
Rectal cancer is diagnosed using a combination of patient history, physical
examination, endoscopy, radiology, and pathology. The diagnosis is often
made using colonoscopy with biopsies. When patients have endoscopy or
surgery for the disease, tissue is often submitted to the pathologist
for an evaluation, where they look at the tissue under a microscope and
makes the diagnosis of rectal cancer. Colonoscopy is also important in
patients with a history of rectal cancer for surveillance of the colon
for development of tumor recurrence.
Radiology tests that may be ordered include plain X-ray and CT scan of
the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. These studies are often utilized in the
evaluation for evidence of metastatic disease (tumor spread beyond the
primary site in the colon).
Patients may also have an endorectal ultrasound, where a slender ultrasound
probe is inserted through the anus into the rectum to evaluate the stage
of the tumor. Once diagnosed, treatment includes surgical resection (removal)
of the involved colon. Depending on the stage, preoperative chemotherapy
and radiation and/or postoperative chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended.
Common symptoms of this disease may include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
Board-Certified Surgeons Providing Treatment Options
The treatment of rectal cancer varies based upon the local and distant
extent of tumor spread. Based upon the preoperative endorectal ultrasound
staging, preoperative chemotherapy and radiation may be offered. This
is done to shrink the tumor, decrease the rate of local recurrence after
surgery, and increase the chances of the surgery being done without a
colostomy. If there is no spread beyond the primary site in the colon,
the treatment is often removal of the involved colon.
Following removal of the colon, the pathologist will evaluate the tumor
under the microscope and give it a stage based upon the depth of penetration
of tumor in the wall of the colon, as well as the presence of tumor in
the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor. Based upon the stage of the tumor,
postoperative chemotherapy may be recommended, which is administered by
a medical oncologist.
In selected patients with limited spread in the liver or lungs, removal
of the involved colon along with the tumor in the liver or lungs may be
feasible. The recommendation for this treatment strategy is individualized
based upon the extent of disease and overall clinical presentation of
the patient. If this approach is chosen, it is common for postoperative
chemotherapy to be administered. In the case that the tumor spreads beyond
the primary tumor and it is not amenable to removal, surgery may not be
recommended, in which case chemotherapy is often administered.
To learn more or to make an appointment with a Manhattan colorectal surgeon,
email Manhattan Surgical Associates today.