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What is rectal cancer?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Rectal cancer, also commonly referred to as colorectal cancer, is cancer that occurs in the rectum, the last portion of the large intestine. Rectal cancer begins in the lining of the rectum, then grows through the rectal wall and affects nearby lymph nodes if it is not treated in time. There are five stages of rectal cancer. Stage 0 is the earliest stage and stage 4 is the last stage. Recovery rates are very high when rectal cancer is treated early, but few people recover from rectal cancer that has reached stage 4.

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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.