The presacral space is the area between the rectum and lowest part of your spine (sacrum). A tumor is a growth in this area. It is rare but can be malignant (cancer).
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A presacral tumor may be caused by:
Congenital factors (present from birth) Hereditary disorders (eg, Currarino syndrome) Other forms of cancer that have spread
These factors increase your chance of a presacral tumor:
Gender: female Age: 40-60 years
If you have any of these, do not assume it is due to a presacral tumor. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Talk to your doctor if you have:
Pain in the lower back or rectal/pelvic area A feeling of heaviness Constipation Overflow incontinence Weight loss
In some cases, there are no symptoms.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done with a digital rectal exam. Other tests may include:
—uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body to locate the site and size of the tumor
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body CT scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body MRI scan
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. This will depend on the type of tumor you have. Treatment options include:
—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.
There are no steps to prevent this condition.
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.
LaRusso L. Colon cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated December 14, 2009. Accessed February 8, 2010.
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.
Last reviewed February 2010 by
Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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