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Presacral Tumor

(Retrorectal Tumor)

Definition

The presacral space is the area between the rectum and lowest part of your spine, called the sacrum. A tumor is a growth in this area. The tumor can range from a cyst to a mass that invades pelvic structures. It can be cancerous but this is rare.

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Causes    TOP

A presacral tumor may be caused by:

  • Factors that are present from birth
  • Hereditary disorders like Currarino syndrome
  • Cancer of the connective tissue
  • Other forms of cancer that have spread

Risk Factors    TOP

Women are more likely to develop this type of tumor.

Symptoms    TOP

In some cases, there are no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Pain in the lower back or rectal/pelvic area
  • Pain that spreads to the lower extremities
  • A feeling of heaviness
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence
  • Unintented weight loss

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done, as well as a digital rectal exam.

Images of your bodily structures may be taken. This can be done with:

Your bodily tissues may be tested. This can be done with biopsy.

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. This will depend on the type of tumor you have. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Chemotherapy —If the tumor is cancerous, chemotherapy may be used. This involves using drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy—This may be used along with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy involves using radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors.

Prevention    TOP

There are no current guidelines to prevent a presacral tumor.

RESOURCES:

America Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
https://www.fascrs.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca
Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
http://www.colorectal-cancer.ca

References:

Coco C, Manno A, Mattana C, et al. Congenital tumors of the retrorectal space in the adult: report of two cases and review of the literature. Tumori. 2008;94(4):602-607.
Pappalardo G, Frattaroli FM, Casciani E, et al. Retrorectal tumors: the choice of surgical approach based on a new classification. Am Surg. 2009;75(3):240-248.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Last Updated: 5/28/2014

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