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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Rectal Cancer, Version 1.2017

defective mismatch repair (dMMR)

Abnormal changes in genes that contain instructions for

making proteins that fix errors in DNA.

deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

A very thin and long molecule that contains genetic code.

Also called the “blueprint of life.”


To identify a disease.

digestive system

A set of organs in the body that changes food into small

parts for the body to use as energy.


Blockage of blood flow to a tumor with beads that emit either

chemotherapy or radiation.

endoscopic polypectomy

Surgery to remove a polyp during a colonoscopy.


Injection of liquid into the rectum to clear the bowel.

epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

A protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals for the cell

to grow.


Tissue that lines the colorectal wall.


The tube-shaped digestive organ between the mouth and


external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

Treatment with radiation received from a machine outside

the body.

familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)

An inherited medical condition that increases the odds of

colorectal cancer.


Coded instructions in cells for making new cells and

controlling how cells behave.

general anesthesia

A controlled loss of wakefulness from drugs.

hereditary non-polyposis rectal cancer (HNPCC)

An inherited medical condition that increases the odds of

colorectal cancer. Also called Lynch syndrome.

histologic typing

The study of cells to classify disease.


Itchy, swollen, and red skin caused by the body ridding itself

of an invader.

hyperplastic polyp

A polyp that grows fast and is often found in the last part of

the colon and in the rectum.

imaging test

A test that makes pictures of the insides of the body.

immunohistochemistry (IHC)

A lab test of cancer cells to find specific cell traits involved in

abnormal cell growth.

inflammatory bowel disease

A medical condition that causes the intestine to swell.

inflammatory polyp

A polyp that often grows after the intestine swells.


A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a


intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

Radiation therapy that uses small beams of different

strengths based on the thickness of the tissue.

intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)

Radiation therapy that is given inside the body at the end of

an operation.

invasive cancer

Cancer cells have grown into the second layer of the rectal


lamina propria

Connective tissue within the mucosa of the rectal wall.

large intestine

The digestive organ that prepares unused food for leaving

the body.


Drugs used to clean out the intestines.

low anterior resection

An operation that removes your rectum and part of your