Difference Between Colon and Rectal Cancer (With Table)

Cancer is one of the risky diseases that should be treated or diagnosed timely. Although cancer is differentiated into few categories depending on its symptoms and effect. Colon and rectal cancer are two types of cancer that have different symptoms and treatments. Hence, it is required to know both of them.

Colon vs Rectal Cancer

The difference between a colon and rectal cancer is that colon cancer is started in the colon (large intestine), which is the final part of the last part of the digestive tract. On the contrary, rectal cancer begins in the rectum part of the body, which is situated at the final part or end of the final segment of the colon. Rectal cancer is diagnosed when cells in the rectum grow out of control and mutate.

Colon Cancer is a major cancer type that initially targets or affects older adults; furthermore, it can be diagnosed at any age. In the beginning stage, it started as small clumps of cells (initially called polyps) that developed in the colon, and later on, these small polyps are transformed into colon cancer.

Rectal Cancer occurs in the rectum, which is situated at the final part or segment of the colon and ends in the narrow passage connected to the anus. The symptoms or signs of rectal cancer include narrow stool, abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, etc. Rectal cancer can be caused when the cells start growing uncontrollably.

Comparison Table Between Colon and Rectal Cancer

Parameters of ComparisonColon CancerRectal Cancer
What is it? It started as small clumps of cells (initially called polyps) that developed in the colon, and later on, these small polyps were transformed into colon cancer. Rectal Cancer occurs in the rectum, which is situated at the final part or segment of the colon and ends in the narrow passage connected to the anus.
CausesColon cancer is diagnosed when the colon observes mutation or develops changes in the healthy cells. Rectal cancer is diagnosed when the rectum observes mutation or develops changes in the healthy cells.
SymptomsRectal bleeding, weakness, unexplained or unusual weight loss, etc.Narrow stool, weakness, abdominal pain, blood in stool, etc.
Affected partThis cancer begins or develops in the colon, which is situated in the large intestine.Rectal cancer develops in the rectum, which is located in the end part of the last inches of the large intestine.
CurabilitySurvival of colon cancer patients has better curability or survival than rectal cancer patients of stage IIB.In the IIIC and IV stages, patients with rectal cancer have better curability and survival than colon cancer patients.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon Cancer is a type of cancer type that starts in the large intestine, which is also called the colon, and it is the final or ends part of the digestive tract. Although it can be diagnosed at any age, initially, it affects older ones. In the beginning stage, it started as small clumps of cells (initially called polyps) that developed in the colon, and later on, these small polyps are transformed into colon cancer.

Various treatments are available and recommended by doctors to control colon cancer, and these include targeted therapies, drug treatment, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. It is also called colorectal cancer. Sometimes, the patient does not observe any symptoms in the initial or early stage. Symptoms may vary according to the location and cancer size in the large intestine of the patient.

What is Rectal Cancer?

Rectal cancer is diagnosed in the rectum, which is situated in the last inches of the large intestine usually, a narrow passage that ends to the anus. Surgery to remove rectal cancer is quite complex because it is positioned in a tight space. Symptoms of rectal cancer include a narrow stool, weakness, abdominal pain, blood in stool, etc.

Usually, the major cause of rectal cancer is a mutation or uncontrollable growth of cells in the rectum, which is located at the end or in the last inches of the large intestine. Precisely, it starts at the last point or end of the final segment of the colon and ends or lasts while reaching the narrow and short passage, which eventually leading or ending to the anus. Treatment and screening are available to treat this cancer.

Main Differences Between Colon and Rectal Cancer

  1. Colon and Rectal cancer both are categorized as a type of cancer which some similarities and dissimilarities. Colon Cancer is a major cancer type that initially affects older adults, it starts as small clumps of cells (initially called polyps) that develop in the colon, and later on, these small polyps are transformed into colon cancer. On the contrary, rectal Cancer occurs in the rectum, which is situated at the final part or segment of the colon and ends in the narrow passage connected to the anus.
  2. Colon and rectal cancer are developed and diagnosed due to the uncontrollable growth of cells. Colon cancer is diagnosed when the colon observes mutation or develops changes in the healthy cells. On the other side, rectal cancer is diagnosed when the rectum observes mutation or develops changes in the healthy cells.
  3. Colon and rectal cancer show several symptoms to aware the patient. Symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, weakness, unexplained or unusual weight loss, etc. On the other side, a patient diagnosed with rectal cancer observed symptoms like narrow stool, weakness, abdominal pain, blood in stool, etc.
  4. Colon and rectal cancer affect different organs of the body, which consequently impact their symptoms and treatment. Colon cancer develops in the colon, which is situated in the large intestine. On the other side, rectal cancer develops in the rectum, which is located in the end part or in the last inches of the large intestine.
  5. Colon and rectal cancer patients used various treatment and curability procedures to enhance their survival rate. Although, the survival rate of the patient varies from one stage to another. Survival of colon cancer patients has better curability or survival than rectal cancer patients of stage IIB. On the other side, in the IIIC and IV stages, patients with rectal cancer have better curability and survival than colon cancer patients.

Conclusion

In both types of cancer, either colon or rectal, it is necessary to detect the symptoms at an early stage and consult with the respective doctor. Colon and rectal cancer have different treatments (as they have different places or impacted organs), among which surgery and screening are considered as the main treatment. Chemotherapy is also helpful in treating patients.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00384-016-2633-3
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-2980.2011.00551.x

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