Acta chirurgica iugoslavica 2008 Volume 55, Issue 3, Pages: 61-66
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Influence of long term radiotherapy on symptoms and signs of locally advanced primary rectal cancer of distant localization

Petrović J., Stanojević G., Barišić G., Dimitrijević I., Micev M., Stojanović S., Krivokapić Z.

This study is a part of a clinical trial in preoperative radiotherapy of low rectal cancer, conducted as a prospective and partly retrospective clinical study. It was designed to estimate the influence of long term radiotherapy on symptoms of locally advanced rectal cancer. We included 49 patients with T3/4 stage adenocarcinoma (diagnosis confirmed by clinical, pathological and CT examinations) of the lower two thirds of the rectum, who were treated with long term radiotherapy (45 Gy in 20-25 fractions) and questioned for the presentation of symptoms before and after the treatment. The chief complaints of these patients were the presence of blood in stool, abdominal and pelvic pain, straining (tenesmus) and the alteration in bowel movement. We found a significant decrease in symptoms and signs of the illness after the radiotherapy as well as the improvement of the quality of life.

Keywords: long term preoperative radiotherapy, rectal cancer, symptoms, signs

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