Local excision is increasingly performed for “early stage” rectal cancer in the US; however, local recurrence after local excision has become a controversial issue in Western countries. Local recurrence is considered to originate based on the type of tumor and procedure performed, and in surgical margin-positive cases. This review focuses on the inclusion criteria of “early” rectal cancers for local excision from the Western and Japanese points of view. “Early” rectal cancer is defined as T1 cancer in the rectum. Only the tumor grade and depth of invasion are the “high risk” factors which can be evaluated before treatment. T1 cancers with sm1 or submucosal invasion <1,000 μm are considered to be “low risk” tumors with less than 3.2 % nodal involvement, and are considered to be candidates for local excision as the sole curative surgery. Tumors with a poor tumor grade should be excluded from local excision. Digital examination, endoscopy or proctoscopy with biopsy, a barium enema study and endorectal ultrasonography are useful for identifying “low risk” or excluding “high risk” factors preoperatively for a comprehensive diagnosis. The selection of an initial local treatment modality is also considered to be important according to the analysis of the nodal involvement rate after initial local treatment and after radical surgery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes