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Rectal Cancer Specialist

Robert G Yavrouian, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Colon and Rectal Surgery located in Los Angeles, CA & Glendale, CA

More than 45,000 Americans develop rectal cancer yearly. Together with colon cancer, rectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer today, not counting skin cancer. Although rectal cancer is a frightening diagnosis, there’s tremendous hope for a full recovery if you get an early diagnosis and treatment. Robert Yavrouian, MD, offers compassionate rectal cancer diagnosis and treatment in his offices in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles and Glendale, California. Call Dr. Robert Yavrouian or book your appointment through the online scheduler.

Rectal Cancer Q & A

What is rectal cancer?

Rectal cancer occurs when you develop malignant growths in your rectum, the last portion of your large intestine. 

Dr. Yavrouian understands the fear and anxiety that a rectal cancer diagnosis can cause, and he’s here to provide effective solutions to keep you healthy. When diagnosed early, prior to spreading, the five-year survival rate is almost 90%. 

What are the symptoms of rectal cancer?

In the initial stages, you might not have significant rectal cancer symptoms. That's why it's especially important to undergo regular colorectal cancer screening if you're at risk. 

Some symptoms of late-stage rectal cancer include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in your stool
  • Bowel habit changes
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms can also occur with other digestive diseases. Dr. Yavrouian can assess your symptoms and diagnose your condition at either office. 

How is rectal cancer diagnosed?

Dr. Yavrouian may initially diagnose rectal cancer during a routine cancer screening test, or he may form an initial diagnosis based on your symptoms. To confirm a rectal cancer diagnosis, he typically performs a colonoscopy. 

In a colonoscopy, Dr. Yavrouian observes your colon and rectum through a miniature camera attached to a slim tube. He can also remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) for testing. 

After your diagnosis, you typically have tests, which can include complete blood count (CBC), organ function tests, tumor marker tests, a CT scan, and an MRI scan. 

Dr. Yavrouian compiles all of these tests to stage the cancer. The cancer stage indicates how advanced the cancer is. Stages include 0-IV, with higher numbers meaning more advanced disease.

What are the stages of rectal cancer, and how are they treated?

Rectal cancer is staged from 0 to IV: 

  • Stage 0 cancer is confined to the innermost rectal lining
  • Stage I cancer is throughout the rectum, but not in the colon wall
  • Stage II cancer has spread to the colon wall and sometimes nearby tissue
  • Stage III cancer has spread to lymph nodes, but not to other parts of the body
  • Stage IV cancer has spread to other parts of the body

For stage 0 rectal cancer, the typical treatment is minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove the cancerous growth. With stage I, you typically need surgical removal along with draining nearby lymph nodes. You may need bowel reconstruction, as well.

For rectal cancer that’s in stages II, III, and IV, treatment typically includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In late-stage rectal cancer, you may start with chemotherapy and then have surgery and radiation. 

Dr. Yavrouian treats every person with rectal cancer individually. He focuses on maximizing positive outcomes and improving your quality of life, no matter which stage of rectal cancer you’re dealing with. 

For rectal cancer treatment from a caring specialist, call Dr. Robert Yavrouian or click the online scheduling tool.