Colon Cancer Home > Rectal Cancer Symptoms
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
A fecal occult blood test checks for hidden blood in three consecutive stool samples. One clinical trial in the United States reported a 33 percent reduction in colorectal cancer deaths and a 20 percent reduction in colorectal cancer incidence among people offered an annual FOBT. Population-based trials in Europe have demonstrated that screening every other year reduced colorectal cancer deaths by 15 to 18 percent.
During a sigmoidoscopy, the doctor checks inside the rectum and lower (sigmoid) colon with a lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope. If polyps are found, the doctor removes them. The procedure to remove polyps is called a polypectomy.
During a colonoscopy for rectal cancer screening, the doctor examines inside the rectum and entire colon using a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope. The doctor removes any polyps that may be found.
A barium enema is a test that involves a series of x-rays of the colon and rectum. The patient is given an enema containing a barium solution, and air is pumped into the rectum. The barium and air outline the colon and rectum on the x-rays.
Final Thoughts on Rectal Cancer Symptoms
The possible symptoms discussed above are not sure signs of rectal cancer. These symptoms may be caused by colon or rectal cancer, but they can also be caused by other more common conditions. Therefore, it is important to check with a doctor if you have any of these possible symptoms of rectal cancer so the problem can be diagnosed and treated.