There are over 43,000 people diagnosed with rectal cancer every year, according to the American Cancer Society. When combined with colon cancer, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women.
The good news is that more advanced screening and treatment options are resulting in an increased survival rate for patients with rectal cancer. This is especially true at places like MedStar Health, where our cancer specialists treat a high number of patients.
In addition, rectal cancer is preventable if you undergo regular screening via colonoscopy, starting at the age of 45. During a colonoscopy, your doctor can look for polyps and remove them before they become cancerous.
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About Rectal Cancer
This type of cancer begins in the rectum, which is the last six inches of the large intestine. Sometimes it develops from an abnormal growth called a polyp—but not all polyps lead to cancer.
Rectal cancer is similar to colon cancer because they are both part of the digestive system. However, they require a different approach to treatment. In fact, rectal cancer is more challenging to treat because of it’s proximity to other organs, bones, and tissue.
That’s why it’s important to seek care from someone with experience using innovative techniques to treat patients with complex cases. Studies prove that outcomes are better at high volume centers like MedStar Health, as they result in:
- Greater success at removing the cancer
- Less chance of recurring cancer
- Minimized risk of needing a colostomy bag
- More likelihood of preserving your ability to use the bathroom naturally
Watch How Screening Can Help You Prevent Rectal Cancer
Sometimes, rectal cancer and colon cancer are lumped together and referred to as colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can help prevent both types of cancer. Learn more below.
Rectal Cancer Care at MedStar Health
When you’re cared for at MedStar Health, you can expect comprehensive care that starts with a full range of advanced diagnostic options and continues with groundbreaking treatments that eliminate your cancer—and minimize the likelihood it will return.
Our team approach involves a variety of specialists who are focused on customizing your treatment plan using the most effective surgical techniques. Through innovative clinical trials and complex procedures only available at a few cancer centers in the nation, we can reduce your chances of needing a colostomy through sphincter preservation.
You’ll benefit from:
- An experienced tumor board that allows surgical, radiation, and medical oncologists, radiologists, gastrointestinal specialists, therapists, and nurses to review and design a customized treatment plan as unique as your case
- Novel surgical procedures that include minimally invasive and robotic options that result in less pain, fewer risks, and shorter recovery times
- Oncologists and researchers pioneering new methods for diagnosing and treating rectal cancer while preserving your quality of life and minimizing the chances of your disease from returning
Rectal Cancer Success Story
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MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239
MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225
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