Rectal cancer, like colon cancer, develops from the lining of the large intestine. That is, for tumors to be considered as cancers of the rectum the lesion must be located less than 15 cm from the anal margin or below the body of the third sacral vertebrae. Rectal cancer presents almost identical characteristics to those of cancers of the colon and has the same prevention methods. However, differences in the anatomical location lead to differences in exploration and therapeutic strategy.
Rectal Cancer Statistics
Rectal cancer has high incidence in many parts of the world. Worldwide, rectal cancer and colon cancer combined (colorectal cancer) is the third most common malignant tumor, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about 136,830 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014, causing the death of about 50,310 individuals.
Colorectal cancer (colon and rectal cancers combined) are the second leading cause of death among non-smokers. Men appear to be more affected by the disease than women do. But certain regions in the world have fewer incidences. For instance, In Africa and Asia, there are 20 times fewer colorectal cancer cases than in Northern Europe or the United States. But emigrants from those countries (Africa and Asiatic countries) to countries where the risk is significant see their rates increase within 10-20 years after their migration. These facts suggest that lifestyle and diet play a major role in the occurrence of colorectal cancer incidence.