Curbside Consultation in GI Cancer for the Gastroenterologist: 49 Clinical Questions

Douglas G. Adler, MD

Question 45: Why Are Rectal Cancers So Different From Colon Cancers With Regard To Medical And Surgical Management? (continued)

Kimberly Jones, MD

The major differences between colon and rectal cancer with regard to treatment are mainly due to the difference in location. Rectal cancers are defined as tumors occurring in the distal 12 cm of the bowel or below the peritoneal reflection intraoperatively (Figure 45-1). The transition point from the sigmoid colon to the rectum is marked by the fusion of the tenia of the sigmoid colon to form the circumferential longitudinal muscle of the rectum. The rectum is also divided into thirds when discussing surgical planning into upper rectal cancer, mid rectal cancers, and distal rectal cancers…