When Could Preoperative Radiotherapy Be Proposed for cT2 Presentations?

  • Karyn A. Goodman


In contrast to locally advanced (T3-T4 or N positive) rectal cancer, for which preoperative chemoradiation has become the standard of care [29], treatment of earlier-stage rectal cancer, such as clinically staged T2N0 disease, is less well established. The gold standard for a cT2N0 rectal tumor remains a radical resection with a total mesorectal excision to remove the rectum and draining mesorectal lymph nodes, but for low-lying tumors, this may entail an abdominoperineal resection and permanent colostomy, which can be associated with long-term effects on quality of life and poor body image [15, 17]. Even sphincter-preserving options, such as a low anterior resection with a coloanal anastomosis, may lead to impaired bowel function [17, 19]. Patient-reported quality-of-life data after treatment for rectal cancer have demonstrated permanent detrimental effects on patients’ bowel functioning, particularly in patients with stomas or low rectal anastomoses [5, 10, 35].


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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