Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer, is any cancer (a growth, lump, tumor) of the colon and the rectum. The World Health Organization and CDC say it is the second most common cancer worldwide, after lung cancer.
A colorectal cancer may be benign or malignant. Benign means the tumor will not spread, while a malignant tumor consists of cells that can spread to other parts of the body and damage them.
Experts say we are not completely sure why colorectal cancer develops in some people and not in others. However, several risk factors have been identified over the years - a risk factor is something which may increase a person's chances of developing a disease or condition.
The possible risk factors for colorectal factors are:
Surgery is a treatment option for early-stage anal cancer, particularly stage 0, as well as some stage I and II anal cancers. You and your medical oncologist would discuss the pros and cons of surgery before deciding if it’s an appropriate option for you. There are two surgical procedures for anal cancer, depending on the type and location of the tumor:
Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and certain cancer-related symptoms. Our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss appropriate surgical options that meet your individual needs.
Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery depends on factors such as the type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as general health factors such as age, physical fitness and other medical comorbidities. For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.
Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage any side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians are available to work with your surgical oncologist to support your healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function, often at the time of surgery or following surgery.
Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum (the last part of the large intestine before it exits the anus) loses its normal attachments inside the body, allowing it to telescope out through the anus, thereby turning it “inside out”. While this may be uncomfortable, it rarely results in an emergent medical problem. However, it can be quite embarrassing and often has a significant negative impact on patients’ quality of life.
Overall, rectal prolapse affects relatively few people (2.5 cases/100,000 people). This condition affects mostly adults, and women over 50 years of age are six times as likely as men to develop rectal prolapse. Most women with rectal prolapse are in their 60’s, while the few men who develop prolapse are much younger, averaging 40 years of age or less. In these younger patients, there is higher rate of autism, developmental delay, and psychiatric problems requiring multiple medications.
What is an anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a small cut or tear in the lining of the anus. The crack in the skin causes severe pain and some bright red bleeding during and after bowel movements. At times the fissure is deep enough to expose the muscle tissue underneath. An anal fissure may occur as a result of childbirth, straining during bowel movements, or long bouts of constipation or diarrhea. Anal fissures can also be the result of certain medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), infection, and cancer.
An anal fissure can affect people of all ages, and it’s often seen in infants and young children. Constipation is a common problem in these age groups. An anal fissure usually isn’t a serious condition. In most cases, the tear heals on its own within four to six weeks. In cases where the fissure persists beyond eight weeks, it’s considered chronic, or long term.
Certain treatments can promote healing and help relieve discomfort, including stool softenersand topical pain relievers. If an anal fissure doesn’t improve with these treatments, surgery may be required. Or your doctor may need to look for other underlying disorders that can cause anal fissures.
What are the symptoms of an anal fissure?
An anal fissure may cause one or more of the following symptoms
a visible tear in the skin around your anus a skin tag, or small lump of skin, next to the tear
sharp pain in the anal area during bowel movements
streaks of blood on stools or on tissue paper after wiping
burning or itching in the anal area
What causes an anal fissure?
An anal fissure most often occurs when passing large or hard stools. Chronic constipation or frequent diarrhea can also tear the skin around your anus. Other common causes include:
Crohn’s disease or another IBD
straining during childbirth
Decreased blood flow to the anorectal area
overly tight or spastic anal sphincter muscles
WHAT IS AN ANAL ABSCESS OR FISTULA?
An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus or rectum. Ninety percent of abscesses are the result of an acute infection in the internal glands of the anus. Occasionally, bacteria, fecal material or foreign matter can clog an anal gland and tunnel into the tissue around the anus or rectum, where it may then collect in a cavity called an abscess.
An anal fistula (also commonly called fistula-in-ano) is frequently the result of a previous or current anal abscess. This occurs in up to 50% of patients with abscesses. Normal anatomy includes small glands just inside the anus. The fistula is the tunnel that forms under the skin and connects the clogged infected glands to an abscess. A fistula can be present with or without an abscess and may connect just to the skin of the buttocks near the anal opening.
Possible symptoms include:
Pain, which is usually constant, throbbing and worse when sitting down
Skin irritation around the anus, including swelling, redness and tenderness
Discharge of pus or blood
Constipation or pain associated with bowel movements