Colon Cancer Home > Rectal Cancer Treatment

Rectal cancer treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Treatment recommendations will vary depending on factors such as the stage of the cancer, the patient's age and overall health, and whether the cancer is new or recurrent. Rectal cancer treatment may be divided into local therapy (such as radiation therapy or surgery) and systemic therapy (such as chemotherapy). It's important to remember that, in most cases, there is time to get a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment.

An Overview of Rectal Cancer Treatment

Different types of rectal cancer treatment are available for patients. Rectal cancer treatment options vary based on:
 
  • The stage of the cancer (see Rectal Cancer Stages)
  • A person's age and general health
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
     
In general, rectal cancer treatment options can include:
 
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy.
     
Your doctor can describe your rectal cancer treatment choices and the expected results of each. You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate rectal cancer treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and healthcare team.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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