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Clin Cornerstone. 2002;4(4):34-48.

Diseases of the rectum and anus: a clinical approach to common disorders.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.


Diseases of the rectum and anus are common, and the prevalence in the general population is probably much higher than that seen in clinical practice since most patients with symptoms referable to the anorectum do not seek medical attention. The examination and diagnosis of certain anorectal disorders can be challenging, and the physical examination of the anorectum is often inadequately performed in clinical practice. This article reviews the important features of the anorectal examination and the diagnosis and treatment of benign anorectal disorders such as hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulas, solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, fecal incontinence, and pruritus ani. Approaches to staging and managing malignant neoplasms of the anus and rectum are outlined.

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