ADVANCED AND RECURRENT RECTAL CANCER

ADVANCED AND RECURRENT RECTAL CANCER

Mr McArthur has a specialist interest in the surgical treatment of advanced and recurrent rectal cancer, and accepts tertiary referrals from the U.K. and internationally for patients with these conditions.

Patients with advanced rectal cancer present with the same symptoms as those with less advanced disease: namely a change in bowel habit, rectal bleeding or a sensation of incomplete evacuation. Additionally, locally advanced disease can result in pain. Recurrent rectal cancer occurs when there is a re-growth of tumour tissue in the pelvis after a previous resection. This is often detected on follow-up scans, although sometimes it presents with similar symptoms to the original cancer.

Treatment is carried out working closely with oncologists (cancer doctors) who specialize in rectal cancer. In suitable cases, treatment involves major surgery to remove the advanced or recurrent rectal cancer within the pelvis, sometimes resecting part of the sacrum or other involved pelvic organs, such as the bladder, followed by careful reconstruction of the perineum to restore the pelvic floor; such surgery that involves the removal of the pelvic organs including the rectum and bladder is often referred to as exenteration surgery (pelvic exenteration), and is only carried out in a relatively small number of centres in the U.K.

Mr McArthur has published widely on the management of patients with advanced and recurrent rectal cancer. He is a member of Pelvex, an international collaboration for exenterative surgery, and has sat on international committees to develop consensus documents for the management of these complex patients.

If you have been diagnosed with advanced or recurrent rectal cancer, Mr McArthur and the team he works with are available to offer second opinions regarding treatment strategies, or to take over the surgical care. Please contact The Birmingham Colorectal Clinic for an opinion.

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