What is Adenocarcinoma of the Rectum with Neuroendocrine Differentiation?Rectal adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation is a type of cancer that originates from specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells of the rectum. Neuroendocrine cells have properties of nerve cells and also can produce hormones. Neuroendocrine cells are present throughout the body thus neuroendocrine tumors can develop anywhere in the body. It can spread to the nearby lymph nodes of the rectum and intestine but spread of the tumor to the distant parts of the body is not common. In rare cases rectal adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation can spread to the other distant parts of the body such as distant lymph nodes, chest, head and bones.
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 adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation.
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