Rectal Cancer | Q&A
Is Rectal Cancer Surgery Possible?
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Can surgery be considered in a case where cancer has been diagnosed in the colon but near the rectum? Would it be possible to cut out the bad and reattach to the upper bowel?
Resection of rectal tumors and anastomosis (reattachment) of the bowels is possible in certain cases of rectal cancer, depending on the location of the tumor. The rectum refers to the portion of the bowel that is located within the pelvis, and this space is more confined than the abdomen. Other nearby organs in the pelvis – the lower spine, bladder, prostate for men, uterus and ovaries for women – make surgery more complicated.
If the tumor is very low and close to the anus, it may not be possible to do a reattachment. In cases like this, the surgeon may have to remove the anus in addition to the cancerous portion of the rectum, installing a permanent colostomy to divert waste to a bag outside the body.
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