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Rectal Cancer

Why is Rectal Cancer Dangerous?

As its name suggests, rectal cancer refers to malignant tumours and growths in the rectum. Even though the rectum is closer to the anus, its close proximity to critical organs such as the bladder, prostate, uterus or vagina can cause surgical removal of polyps to be challenging.

If left untreated, cancerous cells in rectal polyps can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body.

Colonoscopy can be used to remove rectal polyps when detected in the early stages.

Our doctors are experienced in the detection and treatment of rectal cancer.
For personalised advice, make an appointment with us today.
What are Some Symptoms of Rectal Cancer?

Early onset of rectal cancer may not have any obvious symptoms. But some early warning signs that you should be on the lookout for include:

Sudden or unexplained weight loss
Narrow, ribbon-like stools
Anaemia caused by iron deficiency
Blood in stools
Persistent abdominal pain

Some of these symptoms may be caused by other less serious conditions such as ulcers or haemorrhoids (piles), but they should still be discussed with a doctor. Some symptoms may not develop until the disease has progressed and surgery then will be more complex and riskier.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Call us at 6262 1226
How is Rectal Cancer Treated?

In rectal cancer, surgery may be performed before or after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The type of technique or operation that we recommend will depend on the stage of cancer, position of the tumours and your general health.

Local Transanal Resection
This method is suitable for small tumours located near the anus and uses instruments inserted into the rectum. Additional radiation therapy may be prescribed if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Anterior Resection
This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and removes the upper part of the rectum with the tumour. The remaining part of the rectum will be attached to the colon to facilitate normal bowel movements.
Abdominoperineal Resection
This technique is used to treat tumours found in the lower part of the rectum. The rectum, anus and sigmoid colon are surgically removed via laparoscopic surgery using four to five small cuts.
Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery
This surgery uses a special magnifying scope and microsurgical instruments to remove tumours from the rectum through the anus.
Total Mesorectal Excision
This involves a laparoscopic removal of the entire rectum containing the tumour, and connects the colon to the anus directly for bowel movement.
Pelvic Exenteration
This is considered a major operation that removes the pelvic cavity, including the anus, rectum, urinary bladder and parts of the reproductive organs.
What are the Risks Involved in Rectal Surgery?

There will be initial pain after the operation, and this will be manageable with prescribed pain medications. We discourage patients from consuming solid food within a couple of days after the surgery to allow the wound to heal better.

Some side effects such as bleeding and blood clots may develop, depending on the patient’s overall health and the type of surgery performed. In cases where the colon is reattached to the rectum or anus, there may be a leak stemming from a reopened incision, but this is very rare and can be fixed by surgery.

In the hands of our certified and experienced surgeons, these risks will be greatly minimized.

We Listen. We Treat. We Care.
Entrust your health and recovery to our dedicated team at Colorectal Practice today. From prompt consults to treatment and recovery, we are committed to seeing you through to a better quality of life.
Our Clinics’ Locations
With a comprehensive network of clinics in Singapore, we stand ready to help you achieve optimal colorectal health.
3 Mount Elizabeth, #12-14 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510