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What are the treatment options for rectal cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Often, when the cancer is in an early stage, it can be removed during a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a routine exam, and removal of small polyps during this exam would not require a hospital stay.

You will need more extensive surgery to treat rectal cancer that has progressed to stage 2 and growth through the wall of your rectum. Your doctor will likely recommend a colectomy to remove the part of the rectum that contains the cancer. Often, the healthy parts of the colon can be fused together again, but depending on the exact location of rectal cancer, a colostomy may be required.

If rectal cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, you will need additional treatment after surgery. Your doctor will likely recommend a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.