When I was first diagnosed with rectal cancer I was so embarrassed that only my wife knew my secret.
Two years later the number of people who have seen my bare ass is approaching triple digits. Also as my tumor was very low, and magically disappeared during radiation, and I am being treated at a teaching hospital, the number of Drs who have stuck their fingers up my bum is in the double digits. Needless to say I am no longer embarrassed that I have RECTAL cancer, in fact I have shared this with everyone on both sides of the family, and urged them to go get their colonoscopies.
When I was first diagnosed I didn't know the difference between rectum and colon and I found it all very confusing, it took me a few weeks to figure it all out. I very much agree with the OP, particularly given the treatment for rectal cancer is very different from the treatment for colon cancer.
I didn't share with family how many Drs have stuck their fingers up my bum, I know you all will understand, we have to retain a little dignity!
Peter, age 65 at dx
DX 4 cm x 4 cm very low rectal adenocarcinoma into the sphincters 01/15
Stage III T3 N1 M0 with two suspicious lymph nodes
26 sessions IMRT radiation with 1,000 mg Xeloda twice per day 03/15 to 04/15
Complete clincal response to the chemoradiation...the tumor shrank completely away 06/15
No surgery...Habr-Gama watch and wait protocol instead
Xelox chemotherapy 07/15-12/15
MRI and rectal exam every three months starting 07/15
MRI and rectal exam every six months starting 07/17