Rectal Cancer Recurrence
Rectal cancer recurrence is more harmful than the first occurrence of the disease as the person's sustainability to undergo cancer treatment for second time is very low. Also, the body cells and tissues become weak after a person is treated for the first time. Thus, diagnosis and treatment pattern in cases of recurrence has to be drafted with extreme care as any inconsistency in the cure may prove fatal.
What is rectal cancer recurrence?
Rectal cancer develops in the rectum and usually starts from the glandular areas. This type is also called as adenocarcinoma and accounts for almost 98% of the overall cases related to the rectal disorder. The disease is curable if detected and cured in the initial or lower stages of colon and rectal cancer. Survival rate for rectal cancer is more than 90% for the first stage but decreases considerably to less than 25% if the tumors reach the final or fourth stage.
Pattern of treating tumors may vary from stage to stage. Surgery is a widely accepted technique to cure polyps in the first and second stages. It can also be done simultaneously with chemical or radiation treatment if the cancer goes beyond the second stage but the tumors haven't started to metastasize. Rectal cancer surgery is the safest method to eliminate tumors as it doesn't cause any major damage to the victim's body.
Radiation therapy and chemical treatments are comparatively harsh and expensive. They may not be able to eliminate tumors completely but attempt to curb cancerous cells by burning or killing them and restricting them from metastasizing. These treatments have a high number of side-effects and may lead to permanent disorders in the treated areas. They may also prevent the person form leading a normal life. Mental and physical recovery from such treatments is quite slow and is highly sensitive to other health complications that may develop in due time.
Cells and tissues adjacent to such treated areas may fall short of essential resources like blood, oxygen and other vital components essential to undergo normal cell-development. This leads to a sense of uneasiness among the cells and upsets their coordination with other parts of the body. The condition leads to abnormal behavior among cells and force them to grow uncontrollably without allowing the old normal and healthy cells to die naturally. Excess cell generation leads to formation of polyps or lumps in the rectum and adjacent areas and the malignant growth recurs.
Malignant tumors usually originate near the areas treated earlier as it is easy to target the cells falling short of resources. Also, the tissues are not able to generate antibodies in time because of the paralyzed development due to previous cancer treatments. Usually, the cancer treatment is carried out by killing some of the healthy tissues and cells present near the infected areas as a measure to prevent the malignant cells from spreading to these immediate adjacent areas.
Causes and early signs of rectal cancer recurrence
Apart from the damage caused due to previous cancer therapies, some other factors also contribute to rectal cancer recurrence. According to a recent research, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has come up as a major cause of abnormal cell-growth. It is not a direct cause of the disease but creates conditions fit for the malignant polyps to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. People who are used to excess intake of tobacco, high consumption of alcohol and regular smoking may develop several complications in their abdominal areas and the digestive system. Such people are highly vulnerable to redevelopment of malignant tumors in the rectal areas even though treated for the same in the past.
Late detection of tumor regeneration is another major cause of the disease. Tumors can be best treated if traced and examined in the initial phases. Tumor formation in the recurrent phase is more harmful than its formation for the first time. They metastasize at a much greater intensity during recurrence and are difficult to control by normal or preliminary treatments like home remedies or basic medication.
It is always safe to curb recurrent tumors at the earliest using best of the treatments as any flaws in the treatment pattern will directly affect the person's life expectancy and the overall survival rate. Though the techniques used to treat or eliminate regenerated tumors are almost same as those used during the first time, their pattern and intensity may change considerably. Rectal cancer is prevalent mainly in the developed or industrially-advanced nations. It occurs more commonly in adults above 50 years and affects black people more than the white ones. Thus, age and environmental factors play a determining role in rectal cancer occurrence as well as recurrence. More than two-third of the overall rectal cancer deaths occur due to faulty or inefficient diagnosis patterns. Timely and apt use of diagnosis methods is extremely vital to avoid recurrence or at least minimize its intensity. Bleeding in the rectal areas, pains during stool-passage, blood in the stools, severe and regular pains in the lower areas of stomach, unnatural bowel movements and abdominal pains need to be examined thoroughly to trace for tumor-redevelopment. Rectal cancer recurrence should not be taken lightly. Leading diagnosis methods like digital rectal exam (DRE), positron emission tomography (PET) test, endoscopy, angiography and sigmoidoscopy can be useful to understand the impact of recurrent tumors. Some may also go through biopsy, colonoscopy, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and barium enema test for reliable and timely diagnosis. Recurrence is more risky than first-time occurrence and should be treated with extreme care (treatment of rectal cancer care) and under thorough medical supervision.