Anal cancer occurs in the anus, which is at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. It is different from and less common than colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the colon or rectum. Anal cancer is rare, but the number of new cases is rising. Of these, 5, will affect females, and 2, will affect males.
STATS AND FACTS
The rectum is the last several inches of the large intestine. Rectal cancer starts in the lining of the rectum rectal mucosa. It starts at the end of the final segment of your colon and ends when it reaches the short, narrow passage leading to the anus. Cancer inside the rectum rectal cancer and cancer inside the colon colon cancer are often referred to together as "colorectal cancer. While rectal and colon cancers are similar in many ways, their treatments are quite different. This is mainly because the rectum sits in a tight space, barely separated from other organs and structures in the pelvic cavity. As a result, complete surgical removal of rectal cancer is challenging and highly complex. Additional treatment is often needed before or after surgery — or both — to reduce the chance that the cancer will return. In the past, long-term survival was uncommon for people with rectal cancer, even after extensive treatment. Thanks to treatment advances over the past 30 years, rectal cancer can now, in many cases, be cured.
Colon cancer starts in the colon, and rectal cancer starts in the rectum. These are both part of the digestive system. This is where food is broken down to make energy and where the body gets rid of solid waste poop or stool. In the picture above you can see where the colon and rectum are inside the body. In most cases, colon and rectal cancers grow slowly over many years. We now know that most of those cancers start as a growth called a polyp. Taking out the polyp early may keep it from turning into cancer. There are a few kinds of colon and rectum cancers.
What you need to know to get the right diagnosis. But there are important differences between colon and rectal cancers. Less common and potentially more dangerous, rectal cancer calls for special expertise to properly diagnose and treat it. Karin Hardiman, M. The rectum is the last 12 centimeters of the large intestine. Why does it matter? Rectal cancer has about a 20 percent risk of local recurrence, versus about 2 percent with colon cancer. Rectal cancer that grows or spreads in the pelvic area is especially dangerous because of the important organs located nearby.