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, the trend toward more rectal cancer in patients under forty was…  Read More

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 from the United Kingdom.

Radiation Before Surgery Can Increase Bowel and Sexual Problems

Although giving radiation before rectal cancer surgery reduces the risk that cancer will return in the rectum and nearby tissues, it does so at a cost.  Quality-of-life studies that accompanied a trial of a short course of radiation therapy before surgery  found more sexual and bowel problems with presurgical radiation.