Other types of surgery for bowel cancer
People who have very early stage rectal cancer or are not fit for a major operation may have a local excision. The surgeon inserts an instrument into the anus to remove the cancer from the lining of the rectum, along with a margin of healthy tissue, without cutting into the abdomen. Methods include transanal excision (TAE), transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) and transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS).
If there are two cancers
In a small number of people, two separate cancers may be found in the large bowel at the same time. The cancers may be discovered through diagnostic tests or during surgery. In this case, there are several options for surgery:
- remove two sections of the bowel
- remove one larger section of the bowel, which includes both areas with cancer
- remove the entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy) to prevent any chance of another cancer forming.
The type of surgery your doctor recommends depends on several factors including your age, the location of the tumours in the bowel, genetic and other risk factors, and your preferences.
A/Prof Craig Lynch, Colorectal Surgeon, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Prof Tim Price, Medical Oncologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, and Clinical Professor, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, SA; Department of Dietetics, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Hooi Ee, Gastroenterologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Dr Debra Furniss, Radiation Oncologist, Genesis CancerCare, QLD; Jocelyn Head, Consumer; Jackie Johnston, Palliative Care and Stomal Therapy Clinical Nurse Consultant, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, NSW; Zeinah Keen, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Dr Elizabeth Murphy, Head, Colorectal Surgical Unit, Lyell McEwin Hospital, SA. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions.
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