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Rectal Cancer – Recurrence



Sometimes patients ask why local recurrence is such a big deal, especially with rectal cancer. As discussed, oftentimes rectal cancer patients will receive upfront chemotherapy and / or chemotherapy and radiation combined. This is really to decrease the chance of local recurrence with regards to rectal cancer in the pelvis. And the reason this is so important is because local recurrence is very difficult to treat, especially in the pelvis because it’s a very contained area of the body. And oftentimes, local recurrence is after someone has had radiation to the pelvis and going back into a pelvis that’s been previously radiated can be very difficult. And the tissue planes are often very distorted, especially after having radiation and surgery in the pelvis. This is one reason we really want to prevent or try to prevent local recurrence in these cases.

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