Recognizing Rectal Cancer Symptoms
Rectal cancer is a malignant neoplasm that forms within 15-18 cm to the border of the anus. It occupies a leading position in morbidity and mortality. The prevalence is 4 to 6% among all malignant tumors. It is known that in economically developed countries, the most pronounced increase in morbidity is noted. Rectal cancer is also referred to as a rectal tumor or rectal carcinoma. What are the symptoms of rectal cancer, and what are the first signs of the disease? We have summed it up in this article.
Rectal Cancer Symptoms
In the initial stages, the main signs of a malignant formation have a periodic manifestation. With the progression of the disease, the symptoms of rectum cancer intensify and become more varied. Rectal cancer is found in the very last part of the colon. Most rectal cancer starts as small, benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. A polyp is a bulge on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can develop into cancer. Polyps are often small and cause little to no symptoms of rectal cancer.
Signs of rectal cancer, which are the reason for contacting a qualified specialist:
- The appearance of blood, mucus, or pus in the stool
- Fecal incontinence and flatulence
- Violation of stool (diarrhea, constipation)
- Change in the rhythm of bowel movements
- Frequent urge to produce stool
- Pain during bowel movements
- An overall bad feeling
- Burdened heredity
The growth of the tumor into the lumen of the rectum leads to mechanical obstruction and prolapse from the anus. During this period, cancer has the ability to metastasize.
Causes of Rectal Cancer
Cancer develops as a result of disrupted cell division. Rectal cancer usually arises from a colon polyp, which mainly occurs in people over 50 years of age. Most rectal polyps are and will remain benign, but some develop into cancer. Until now, the reasons for the development of malignant intestinal neoplasms have not been established. But there are a number of provoking factors:
- Chronic inflammatory pathologies of the colon
- Smoking and alcohol addiction
- Excessive consumption of red meat; the risk of colon and rectal cancer is higher with a diet low in fiber and high in fat and calories. Studies in large groups of people have revealed a link between a typical Western diet and an increased risk of colon cancer. A typical Western diet is high in fat and low in fiber. Eating a lot of red meat and processed meat is also a risk factor.
- Increased body weight or obesity; obese people have an increased risk of colon cancer (and of dying from it) when compared to people of normal weight.
- Age; the vast majority of people diagnosed with rectal cancer are over 50. Colorectal cancer can also occur in younger people, but this is considerably less common.
- Inactive lifestyle; if you are not active, you are more likely to develop colon cancer. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Inheritance; you are more likely to develop colon cancer if you have or have had a parent, brother, sister, or child with colon cancer. If more than one family member has had colon or rectal cancer, the risk is even higher.
Rectal cancer can develop against the background of a long history of polyposis. The presence of polyps does not always provoke the appearance of a malignant formation, but in some patients, when certain factors occur, they can degenerate into cancer.