Points of Pride

About Rectal Cancer

There is no such thing as routine rectal cancer. Every patient’s rectal cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our rectal cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on rectal cancer and who reach across medical disciplines (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, gastroenterologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Rectal Cancer Anatomy

Facts About Rectal Cancer

More than 40,000 cases of rectal cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. This cancer is also called colorectal cancer because it can occur above the rectum, in the colon or in the rectum. Some people are at high risk for rectal cancer because of a family history of certain genetic disorders such as Lynch syndrome.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Types of Rectal Cancer

The most frequently diagnosed type of rectal cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Other types of rectal cancer make up less than 3 percent of all rectal tumors. These include:

  • Carcinoid tumor
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • Neuroendocrine tumor
  • Lymphoma (cancers that usually start in a patient’s immune system but sometimes can start in other organs, such as the rectum)

Rectal Cancer Symptoms

Having rectal cancer can affect a person’s digestive system. The following symptoms might indicate that you have rectal cancer:

  • A change in bowel habits
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
    • Stools that are narrower or have a different shape than usual
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps)
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have rectal cancer. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you have received a rectal cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a rectal cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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