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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 is rare, but can be cancerous.
    Sacral Area
    si55550398 105433 1 sacrum
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  • Causes

    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

    Women are more likely to develop this type of tumor.
  • Symptoms

    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
    • Weight loss
  • Diagnosis

    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

    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

    There are no steps to prevent this condition.

    America Cancer Society

    American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons


    Canadian Cancer Society

    Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada


    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. 2009;94:602-607.

    Colorectal cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 22, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.

    Pappalardo G, Frattaroli FM, Casciani E, et al. Retrorectal tumors: the choice of surgical approach based on a new classification. American Surgeon. 2009;75;3:240-248.

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