Local Excision for Rectal Cancer

Local excision can be a definitive surgical procedure for some early cancers of the rectum, and it is an appealing technique in many ways. It reduces overall surgical trauma and can assure sphincter preservation. It is also associated with low morbidity. However, this technique has a number of limitations also. This article discusses the results of local excision for rectal carcinoma, including histologic features that impact survival and local recurrence-free rates, the importance of careful patient selection, and the potential role of adjuvant and salvage therapies. Technical considerations and alternative therapies are also discussed.

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Correspondence: John M. Skibber, MD, Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 301402, Unit 444, Houston, Texas 77230-1402. E-mail: jskibber@mdanderson.org.

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