It’s a Wake-up Call for your Rectal Cancer
Rectal cancer is a condition in which a tumour develops in the rectum, which is located at the digestive tract’s lower end. Rectal cancer often spreads to the adjacent connected organs such as the colon. Cancer which begins in the rectum and that which spreads to the colon is termed as colorectal cancer. Rectal cancer treatment in India is cost-effective, and the hospitals in India believe in delivering the highest quality of care to the patients.
As per reports of American Cancer Society (ACS), males are at elevated risk of developing rectal cancer when compared to females (2017 figure being 23,720 males to 16,190 women). Of all the cases of rectal cancer, 98 percent of the cases are of adenocarcinoma, which is a type of rectal cancer that originates in the mucosa. These cancer pathogens tend to invade the adjacent lymph nodes too.
However, the prognosis and treatment of rectal cancer are entirely dependent on how severely the tumour infects the rectal wall and adjacent lymph nodes. The other factors which determine its prognosis are its stage, grade and how widespread the cancer is.
As per latest WHO reports, outcomes arising out of processed red meat consumption have been ranked alongside smoking.
Symptoms of Rectal Cancer
Some of the known signs of rectal cancer are as follows:
• Unusual bowel movements, such as diarrhoea or constipation
• Bright red blood traces in stool
• Mucus in stool
• Prolonged rectal bleeding
• Changes in stool consistency
• Pain in the abdomen or cramping
• Painful bowel movements
• Loss of Weight
• A frequent sensation of bowel obstruction
Colon Cancer Causes & Risk Factors
Some of the prominent lifestyle factors have been associated with increased risk of rectal cancer.
• Old age– The risk of rectal cancer among older adults, who are 50 or above, is high. It does not imply that it cannot occur among younger cohort.
• African-American descent– Individuals of African ancestry who were born in the U.S. were found to be at an elevated risk of rectal cancer when compared to those belonging to European ancestry.
• History of colorectal cancer or polyps– Individuals who underwent treatment for rectal cancer, colon cancer or adenomatous polyps, are at higher odds of developing the condition.
• Inflammatory bowel disease– Chronic inflammatory colon and rectum disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, may potentially up the risk of rectal cancer.
• Inherited genetic syndromes– If traces of various syndromes such as FAP and HNPCC are found in one’s genetic makeup, then the risk of rectal cancer increases.
• Family history– If colon or rectal cancer or any other inflammatory bowel disease runs in the family, then the risk of other individuals developing the disease escalates.
• Diet– Processed red meat and char-grilled diet are one of the culprits of increasing the risk of rectal cancer.
• Sedentary Lifestyle– Engaging in moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity has the potential to cut down the risk of rectal cancer.
• Diabetes Mellitus– Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes is associated with elevating the risk of rectal cancer.
• Higher Body Mass Index: Managing weight is the rescue for any health condition as it holds potential in lowering risk of rectal cancer.
• Smoking & Alcoholism– Smokers and alcoholics are at a higher risk when compared to the non-smokers.
• Exposure to radiation therapy– Exposure to radiation therapy while undergoing treatment for cancer opens another set of risks such as that of rectal or colon cancer.
Rectal Cancer Treatment in India
Rectal cancer treatment in India offers modality approach, commonly known as multimodal therapy. The tumour may be removed surgically or via exposing the patient to various types of therapies. Multiple actors on which the treatment of the patient depends is as follows:
Stage, grade of the cancer
The sight of a tumour in the rectum
Size of a tumour
Age & Ethnicity
The overall health of the patient
Patient’s medical history
Abdominoperineal resection with end colostomy
Abdominoperineal resection (APR) is performed for removing tumors in the rectal which originate close to the anal sphincter. In this, both the tumor and the sphincter is removed. Post-APR procedure, stool cannot be passed through the anus, so an end colostomy is linked to the end of the colon that was connected to the rectum before APR was performed.
Sphincter-sparing surgery holds potential in treating rectal cancer if the tumour is of 1-centimetre size and is located on the head of the anal sphincter. This procedure involves the removal of the entire rectum and portions of the adjacent tissue. The remaining end of the colon is directly linked to the anus.
Low anterior resection
This surgery is performed when the sight of a tumour is rectum’s upper part. Along with the tumour, a portion of surrounding healthy tissues is also removed. The lower end of the colon is then connected to the remaining section of the rectum.
Local excision has proved to be of potential in removing rectal cancer, but a portion of a healthy tumour may be shredded when the procedure is performed. This procedure is conducted for treating early-stage rectal cancers. Local excision does not involve the removal of lymph-node
Individuals who develop rectal cancer due to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or an inherited genetic tendency to colorectal cancer are made to undergo surgery which is more extensive and is given alongside chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy– This therapy uses various FDA-approved biologics which have the potential to extend the life of the patients with stage IV rectal cancer.
Radiation Therapy– It involves exposing the patient to high-voltage radiations such as X-rays to shrink the tumour cell growth.
Combination Therapy– This therapy is given to patients who have stage II and stage III rectal cancers. It involves a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, known as chemoradiotherapy. Combination therapy is given before surgery and is often used to tackle stage 1 relapse of rectal cancer.
Targeted Therapy– Patients with stage IV rectal cancer undergo targeted therapy along with chemotherapy that have the potential to stall the growth of tumour cells.
Rectal Cancer Treatment Hospitals and Oncologists in India
• MedantaMedicity, Gurugram- Dr Adarsh Chaudhary
• Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket- Dr Dinesh Singhal
• Artemis Hospital, Gurugram- Dr Giriraj Bora
• BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Deep Goel
• Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram- Dr Vinod Raina
• Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram – Dr Rahul Bhargava
• Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket – Dr Rahul Naithani
• BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Amit Agarwal
• BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Dharma Choudhary
Rectal Cancer Treatment Cost in India
The cost of surgically removing the cancer is USD 8000. Radiation therapy amounts to USD 5000, and the cost of undergoing chemotherapy per cycle is USD 500.
Do not ignore your rectal cancer symptoms, visit an oncologist. Various healthcare platforms in India like Medmonks guarantee best and cost-effective treatment in India. They help patients walk through the entire process and provide 24*7 counselling, thereby addressing queries not only pertaining to your treatment but also help get a medical visa. Co-founded by a panel of experienced healthcare professionals, they do not charge any fee and assist patients in availing discounts from the top-notch hospitals in India.
1. How can rectal cancer be prevented?
• Incorporate a diet, which is rich in whole grains, leafy vegetables and fruits.
• Cut down on your intake of processed red meat such as sausages, ham and bacon.
• Indulge in regular physical activity and weight management regimen.
• Say no to alcohol; low to moderate consumption of alcohol may not pose to increase the risk of cancer.
• Char-grilling, deep-frying, and barbequing meat and nonveg food have been found to be associated with risk of cancer; avoid grilled foods.
• Exposure to a low dose (75mg) of aspirin every day for five years may hold potential in mitigating the odds of bowel cancer. However, odds of gastric bleeding are likely to outweigh the positive outcomes.
• Timely screenings, especially if the disease runs in the family.
2. What are the drugs which are used with chemotherapy in treating stage 4 rectal cancer?
The first line if drugs which are used with chemotherapy for treating rectal cancer are FDA approved. These drugs include: