What is Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of the Rectum?Mucinous adenocarcinoma of the rectum is a subtype of colorectal (colon and rectal) cancer that is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. It arises from glandular mucosal epithelial cells (a type of cells present in rectum) lining the last section of the colon adjacent to the rectum, with extracellular mucin deposition by tumor cells. It is more common in women than in men. The chances of cure with chemotherapy and radiotherapy are poor.
What is a Rectum?The rectum is the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract. This is a continuation of the large intestine, which is connected to the anus at one end. The function of the rectum is to store feces, which are subsequently expelled from the body through the anus.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, but risk factors such as having anal warts, human papillomavirus infection, HIV infection, older age, male gender, cigarette smoking, poor dietary intake with low fiber, and having multiple sexual partners are considered risk factors for developing rectal mucinous adenocarcinoma.
Signs and SymptomsIn most cases, the patient is asymptomatic and is only diagnosed at an advanced stage of cancer. Some initial warning signs and symptoms:
- Change in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, or more frequent urge to pass stool.
- Dark color stool due to the presence of blood in the stool
- Feeling as if the bowels are not empty after defecation.
- Bleeding from the anus
- Pain in the abdomen
- Un explained weight loss
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Endoscopic examination of the anus, rectum, and large intestine. Endoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to visualize the internal organs of the body directly through the endoscope.
- Computed tomography (CT-pelvis) helps to differentiate squamous cell cancer of the rectum from anal cancer.
- Biopsy of the lesion/tumor and histopathological examination