Rectal cancer is a malignant disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the rectum. The digestive system takes in nutrients from foods consumed by the host and helps waste material pass out of the body through the anus. There are various causes that contribute to the occurrence of rectal cancer such as increasing age (mostly over 50), having certain family history of rectal cancer, history of polyps or colorectal cancer, high-fat diet consumption and smoking. The most common type of rectal cancer is adenocarcinoma and comprises the majority of all the cases relating to rectal cancer. Other rare forms of rectal cancer are lymphoma, carcinoid, and sarcoma. Rectal bleeding, diarrhea, not being able to vacate the bowel completely, constipation, weight loss, bowel obstruction, small diameter tools, abdominal pain and weakness are some of the most common symptoms of rectal cancer. The various stages of rectal cancer are:
- Stage I: Tumor is located in the first or second layer of the rectum wall but have not spread out of the rectum itself.
- Stage II: Tumor spreads in the mesorectum.
- Stage III: Tumor penetrates and spreads in the lymph nodes but not in order parts of the body.
- Stage IV: Tumor spreads to different parts of the body, distant organs and tissues such as the lever or the lungs. It has spread outside the rectal region and stage IV is also known as metastatic rectal cancer stage.
Rectal Cancer Market Segmentation
Based on the diagnosis, the rectal cancer market can be segmented as follows:
- Digital rectal examination (DRE)
- Rigid proctoscopy
- Laboratory tests, i.e., carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test, complete blood count etc.
- Screening tests, i.e., stool DNA screening, flexible sigmoidoscopy, computed tomography (CT) colonography
- Imaging tests, i.e., CT scanning of abdomen, endorectal ultrasonography, pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Before the treatment of a patient diagnosed with rectal cancer begins, three vital points have to be taken into consideration, i.e., the extent to which the tumor has spread, the involvement of lymph nodes and whether the tumor has spread to different parts of the body or not.
Based on the treatments involved, the rectal cancer market can be segmented as follows:
- Surgery: Radical resection is the most important surgical treatment for rectal cancer. Others include transanal excision, transanal microsurgery, and endocavity radiotherapy.
- Adjuvant medical therapy: Various adjuvant medical management therapies include intraoperative radiation therapy, adjuvant chemotherapy, chemoradiation therapy and radioembolization.
- Antineoplastic agents (for instance, fluorouracil, leucovorin, panitumumab etc.)
- Vaccines (quadrivalent papillomavirus vaccine)
Based on geographical locations, the rectal cancer market can be segmented into four major segments: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (ROW). Out of these four regions, North America dominates the rectal cancer market followed by Europe. The major driving reasons for the growth of rectal cancer market are constantly increasing geriatric population, growing awareness about malignant effects of cancer amongst individuals, and increasing unhealthy lifestyle practices such as smoking and consumption of high fat content food. Asia-Pacific is one of the most lucrative markets for the growth of rectal cancer market and it is continuously growing at a steady rate. The advantageous factors which will contribute towards the augmentation of rectal cancer market in Asia-Pacific are high population density including the geriatric population, rapidly increasing demand for technologically advanced therapeutic treatment, and major government support for improved healthcare infrastructures such as hospitals and clinics.
Various pharmaceutical companies are constantly trying to come up with novel therapeutic drugs and surgeries for the treatment of rectal cancer. Some of the top major players operating in rectal cancer therapeutics market are Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Amgen, Inc., Novartis AG, AstraZeneca PLC, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AbbVie, Inc., Nanobiotix, GenVec, Inc.,and many others.
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