Rectal cancer, also called bowel cancer, is a cancer that develops within the rectum — the last six inches of the large intestine. Rectal cancer is a form of colorectal cancer. It begins as noncancerous growths called polyps. Over 10 to 15 years, these colon polyps slowly turn into cancer.
Oncologists at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of rectal cancer in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas. To schedule a preventive colonoscopy or to make an appointment for treatment, Find a Doctor.
Rectal Cancer Causes
Experts still don’t fully understand what causes rectal cancer. At Dignity Health, our oncologists are committed to your overall well-being, and focus on educating you about the risk factors of colon cancer as a means of prevention.
The most common colon cancer risk factors include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Personal history of cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast
- Family or personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- Certain gene mutations or genetic conditions
- Age 50 or older
- African American race
In addition, a lifestyle that includes smoking, a poor diet, heavy alcohol use, not exercising, and being obese can affect your risk of colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
The most frequent symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, narrowing of the stool, and a feeling of incomplete emptying)
- Changes in appetite
- Bloody or very dark stool
- Stomach pain
However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also occur with other conditions. Our professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis.
Rectal Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health
Treatment for rectal cancer will depend on the stage of the cancer. In most cases, rectal cancer surgery will be recommended to stop the disease from getting worse.
In addition, your oncologist at Dignity Health may recommend the following standard treatments for rectal cancer:
Using the most up-to-date methods, Dignity Health provides rectal cancer screenings (colonoscopy) to help find precancerous colon polyps and determine the early stages of rectal cancer.
St. Joseph's Cancer Institute offers comprehensive care and the latest treatments for rectal cancer in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas.