Rectal Cancer Overview

Rectal cancer is a catch-all term that refers to any cancer beginning in the lower portion of the large intestine.

No one is quite sure yet what the direct cause of intestinal cancer might be, but there are certain risk factors that can place people at a higher chances for developing cancer of the bowel, including uncontrollable factors like increasing age and a family history of colorectal cancer, as well as lifestyle factors like being overweight, excessive alcohol use, and using tobacco products. In its earliest stages, rectal cancer may not produce any symptoms, although it can be detected through normal screening methods like colonoscopies. When symptoms occur, they often include:

  • Changes in the consistency of the stool
  • Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation that lasts longer than a few days)
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal cramping and discomfort

Tampa General Hospital provides advanced treatments to remove precancerous polyps or cancerous tissue present. Our team can design a personalized treatment plan for each individual patient. In many cases, an appropriate rectal cancer treatment option is surgery. Our highly experienced surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic and robotically assisted options that involve the removal of cancerous tissue through small incisions.

For a physician referral, please call (813) 844-2200 or use our PhysicianFinder tool.