What are alternative treatments to rectal resection?

Surgical resection is the primary treatment of cancers arising within the rectum. Unfortunately, rectal surgery is associated with significant morbidity and often requires the creation of a permanent stoma.

Patients often do not benefit from surgery because they may have been cured by less radical and less mutilating procedures, they die from disseminated disease, or their life expectancy is later curtailed by other medical conditions. This article explores the evidence for alternatives to radical surgery.