More Rectal Cancer in Young People

Rectal cancer rates are increasing in people under 40, although rates of colon cancer have remained stable in younger people. It isn’t clear why, but rectal cancer rates in this young group of men and women began increasing in 1984, rising about 3.8 percent a…

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Uninsured with Rectal Cancer are More Likely to Die

Insurance makes a difference for people with rectal cancer. Rectal cancer patients without insurance or covered by Medicaid are almost twice as likely to die within five years as those privately insured. Not only are they diagnosed at a later stage, but fewer receive recommended…

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Gene Panel May Predict Who Needs Rectal Cancer Surgery

Surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have identified 87 genes that someday may tell doctors whether or not rectal cancer patients need surgery after chemotherapy and radiation.  The panel of genes predicted patients whose cancer appeared to be completely destroyed by the combination…

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Laparoscopic Surgery a Safe Choice for Rectal Cancer

In the hands of experts, laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer was as successful as an open abdominal operation.  Cancer free survival after five years wasn’t any different, and cancer was no more likely to return in and around the rectum. Even if surgeons had to…

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ASCO Research Highlights: Rectal and Anal Cancer

Researchers tried to push the envelope in treating rectal and anal cancer by adding new or different chemotherapy to standard chemoradiotherapy.  However, two trials in rectal cancer and one in anal cancer were not able to improve complete response rates for chemoradiation.  Adding extra chemotherapy…

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How to Treat Rectal Cancer after Surgery? A Clinical Trial

Focus on Clinical Trials Can adding Avastin® (bevacizumab) to FOLFOX therapy after surgery and presurgical chemoradiotherapy reduce recurrence and improve survival for patients with rectal cancer? A clinical trial to answer this question is underway and is looking for participants.  Led by a team of…

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Incidence of Rectal Cancer Increasing in Patients under Forty

Update from the 2009 Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium Incidence of rectal cancer in younger patients is increasing, although there is no similar pattern with colon cancer or in older rectal cancer patients.  The reason for the trend is unclear. First observed in a single cancer center,…

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Digital Rectal Exam Poor Predictor of Rectal Cancer

When physicians exam the rectum with a gloved finger, they are unlikely to find a real tumor and more likely to refer patients unnecessarily for further tests.  Digital rectal exams are a poor way to accurately identify rectal cancer according to a recently published study…

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