What is Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma of the Rectum?Signet ring cell carcinoma of the rectum is a rare type of cancer that account for 0.25 to 2.6% of all adenocarcinoma (cancers of glandular cells of rectum) of rectum. It is a subtype of mucinous carcinoma of the rectum. Rectal signet ring cell carcinoma shows poor response to treatment because it is a high grade tumor and has the tendency to spread to the other distant parts of the body such as lymph nodes, abdomen lungs 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 signet ring cell carcinoma of the rectum.
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 colonoscopy, 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