You are currently viewing Rectal Cancer⚡Mnemonic⚡ : 100% Chance You Won’t Forget !

Here are all the mnemonics you ever wanted on Rectal Cancer. These mnemonics covers all aspects of the disease/health condition 

Causes of Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “DIETS”
D – Diet low in fiber
I – Inflammation (chronic, such as ulcerative colitis)
E – Exercise lack (sedentary lifestyle)
T – Tobacco use
S – Smoked and processed meats consumption


Triggers for Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “TRIGGER”
T – Tobacco
R – Radiation exposure
I – Inflammatory bowel disease
G – Genetics (family history)
G – Growth of polyps
E – Environmental toxins
R – Red meat excessive consumption


Risk Factors For Rectal Cancer:
R – Red meat in diet
I – Inactivity, sedentary lifestyle
S – Smoking
K – Known family history
Y – Years (age over 50)
F – Fiber low in diet
A – Alcohol consumption
C – Chronic inflammatory diseases
T – Toxin exposures
O – Obesity
R – Radiation previous
S – Sedentary work or lifestyle


Warning Signs of Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “WARNINGS”
W – Weight loss unexplained
A – Anemia
R – Rectal bleeding
N – New bowel habit change
I – Incomplete evacuation feeling
N – Nausea with high-grade obstruction
G – Gastrointestinal changes
S – Stool caliber change (pencil-thin stools)


Predisposing Factors of Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “PREDISPOSE”
P – Polyps, especially adenomatous
R – Race (African Americans at higher risk)
E – Excessive alcohol use
D – Diet high in red meat
I – Inherited syndromes (like Lynch syndrome)
S – Smoking
P – Physical inactivity
O – Obesity
S – Sex (slightly more common in men)
E – Elderly age


Signs & Symptoms of Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “SYMPTOMS”
S – Stools with blood
Y – Yearning to defecate without results
M – Mucus in stools
P – Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
T – Tenesmus (feeling of incomplete defecation)
O – Obstruction signs
M – Mass palpable in rectum
S – Systemic symptoms like fatigue


Characteristic Findings In Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “CHARACTER”
C – CEA elevated (Carcinoembryonic antigen)
H – Hematochezia
A – Abnormal digital rectal exam findings
R – Rectal mass
A – Anorectal junction involvement
C – Change in bowel habits
T – Tumor on imaging
E – Endoscopic biopsy positive
R – Rectosigmoid junction common site


What Should Be Avoided In Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “AVOID”
A – Alcohol excess
V – Very processed food intake
O – Obesity promoting habits
I – Inactivity physically
D – Diets high in fat


Drugs Used To Treat Rectal Cancer:
T – Targeted therapies (like cetuximab)
R – Radiotherapy adjunct
E – Excision surgery
A – Adjuvant chemotherapy
T – Therapy neoadjuvant
M – Monoclonal antibodies
E – EGFR inhibitors
N – Neoadjuvant therapies
T – Traditional chemotherapy (5-FU, oxaliplatin)
D – DNA synthesis inhibitors
R – Radiation therapy
U – Use of NSAIDs in some prevention cases
G – Growth factor inhibitors
S – Steroids for symptom control


Drugs To Avoid In Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “AVOID THESE”
A – Aspirin (in some cases due to bleeding risk)
V – Vitamin supplements excessive (without consulting)
O – Opioids without stool softeners (can worsen constipation)
I – Immunotherapy without proper indication
D – Drugs causing immunosuppression (unless necessary)
T – Traditional NSAIDs if at bleeding risk
H – Hormone therapy unindicated
E – Estrogen supplements
S – Steroids long-term
E – Experimental drugs without evidence


Radiological Features of Rectal Cancer:
R – Rectal wall thickening
A – Apple core sign on barium enema
D – Discontinuous lumen (on imaging)
I – Invasion signs into adjacent structures
O – Obstruction indications
L – Lymph node enlargement
O – Other organ involvement
G – Gastrointestinal tract changes
Y – Yielding signs of metastasis
S – Staging with CT/MRI
I – Irregular mass margins
G – Growth into mesorectal fat
N – Node involvement
S – Stool caliber change indirect signs


Diagnostic Tests for Rectal Cancer:
D – Digital rectal examination
I – Imaging (CT, MRI for staging)
A – Anoscopy
G – Gastrointestinal endoscopy
N – Nuclear medicine scans (PET) for metastasis
O – Occult blood testing
S – Sigmoidoscopy (flexible)
T – Tumor markers (CEA)
I – Immunohistochemistry for biopsy
C – Colonoscopy with biopsy
S – Stool DNA tests


Laboratory Findings In Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “LAB FINDS”
L – Lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) increase in metastasis
A – Anemia (iron deficiency)
B – Blood in stool (occult)
F – Ferritin low (with iron deficiency anemia)
I – Inflammatory markers (e.g., C-reactive protein) elevated
N – Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio alteration
D – DNA mutations in stool (KRAS, BRAF in cancer cells)
S – Serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level increase


Drug interactions of Rectal Cancer:
I – Immune checkpoint inhibitors with autoimmune drugs
N – Neoadjuvant therapies with anticoagulants
T – Targeted therapies with CYP inhibitors
E – EGFR inhibitors with vitamin K antagonists
R – Radiation enhancers and skin sensitizers
A – Antifolates with anti-inflammatory drugs
C – Chemotherapy with P-glycoprotein substrates
T – Taxanes with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors
I – Irinotecan with UGT1A1*28 allele
O – Oxaliplatin with cold sensitivity inducing drugs
N – NSAIDs with antihypertensive therapy
S – Steroids with diabetes medications


Side effects of Drugs in Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “SIDE EFFECTS”
S – Stomatitis with chemotherapy
I – Immune-related adverse events with checkpoint inhibitors
D – Diarrhea with irinotecan
E – Erythema with radiotherapy
E – Edema with targeted therapy
F – Fatigue with adjuvant therapies
F – Folate deficiency with antifolates
E – Exanthema with EGFR inhibitors
C – Cold sensitivity with oxaliplatin
T – Thrombocytopenia with platinum compounds
S – Steroid-induced hyperglycemia


Clinical Features of Rectal Cancer:
C – Change in bowel habits
L – Lumps palpable in abdomen or rectum
I – Iron deficiency anemia
N – Nausea and vomiting with obstruction
I – Incontinence or urgency if tumor invades sphincter
C – Cachexia in advanced stages
A – Ascites in peritoneal metastasis
L – Lymphadenopathy regional
S – Steatorrhea in malabsorption
I – Inflammatory responses systemic
G – GI bleeding
N – Nocturnal symptoms emergence
S – Sigmoid involvement common


Complications of Rectal Cancer:
Mnemonic: “COMPLICATE”
C – Colonic obstruction
O – Ostomy complications
M – Metastasis (liver, lungs, peritoneum)
P – Perineal wound infection post-surgery
L – Lymphedema with lymph node dissection
I – Incontinence if sphincter affected
C – Chronic pain syndromes
A – Anastomotic leak post-surgery
T – Thromboembolic events
E – Emotional and psychological distress


Differential Diagnosis of Rectal Cancer:
D – Diverticulitis
I – Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)
F – Fissure or fistula
F – Functional bowel disorder
E – Endometriosis involving the rectum
R – Radiation proctitis
E – Enteritis infectious
N – Neuroendocrine tumors
T – Tubular adenoma
I – Ischemic colitis
A – Anorectal abscess
T – Thrombosed hemorrhoids
E – Ectopic tissue (e.g., endometriosis)

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department