Rectum Cancer Information

Rectum cancer, also known as rectal cancer, is a malignancy that forms in the rectum, which is the final six inches of the digestive system located just above the anus.

Most rectum cancers develop slowly over many years. The cancer begins as a polyp, which is an abnormal growth of tissue in the rectum. Over time, a polyp can change into cancer, but not all do. Adenomatous polyps are the types of polyps that most often change into cancer, while hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps change into cancer less often.

There are several types of rectal cancer. However, when doctors are referring to colorectal cancer they are usually referring to adenocarcinomas, as this type of colorectal cancer is the cause of more than 95 percent of diagnoses, per the American Cancer Society. This type of cancer starts in the cells responsible for forming mucus-producing glands that lubricate the inside of the colon and rectum.

Regular screenings can often detect rectum cancer early; when a diagnosis is made early the cancer is most likely to be curable. In fact, regular screenings can prevent rectal cancer, as polyps can be removed before they turn malignant.

Tampa General Hospital’s colorectal oncologists specialize in treating all types of rectum and colon cancers. TGH removes more rectal tumors through transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) than any other hospital in west central Florida, so our surgeons have extensive experience performing this treatment. 

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