- Stage 1: Removing diseased section of colon may be enough
- Stage 2: Surgery; chemotherapy likelier than in stage 1
- Stage 3: More-extensive surgery; chemotherapy and other medications
- Stage 4: Surgery on colon and distant organs; chemotherapy, cryosurgery
A Answers (5)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredThe treatment for colon cancer depends on the stage the cancer is caught:
Colon cancer can be treated by three different modalities depending on the stage of the cancer's progression. These modalities include surgery to remove cancer cells, radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue, and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells.
Surgery: Surgery is the treatment of choice for colorectal cancer. Treatment depends on the stage of the disease and the overall health of the patient. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used as adjuvant treatment (in addition to surgery). Radical bowel resection, also called partial colectomy and hemicolectomy, is used to treat 80 to 90% of colorectal cancer patients. This procedure may be performed through a large incision in the abdomen (open surgery) or through several small incisions (laparoscopic surgery). If the cancer has spread, the lymph nodes will be removed. Removal of the lymph nodes is called lymphadenectomy.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to reduce the likelihood of metastasis (spreading), shrink tumor size, or slow tumor growth. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery (adjuvant), before surgery (neo-adjuvant), or as the primary therapy if surgery is not indicated (palliative). It may be combined with biological therapy (also called immunotherapy) and radiation therapy.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses X-rays to kill any cancer cells that might remain after surgery, to shrink large tumors before operations so that they can be removed easily, or to relieve symptoms of colon cancer and rectal cancer. The goal of therapy is to damage the tumor without harming the surrounding tissue. If the cancer has spread through the wall of the rectum, radiation treatments in combination with chemotherapy after surgery may be used. This may help prevent cancer from reappearing in the same place. Side effects of radiation therapy may include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fatigue, reddened and swollen skin, loss of appetite and nausea /vomiting.
Follow-up Treatment: Follow-up care is recommended for colorectal cancer patients to ensure that recurrent or metastatic disease is detected as soon as possible. Patients will generally undergo regular physical examinations, fecal occult blood tests, colonoscopies, CT scans, and chest x-rays.
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Colon cancer is treated through a variety of methods -- foremost being surgery to remove the cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used in conjunction with surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence and metastasis. Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your cancer, lymph node involvement (stage and grade) and current physical health.
Riverside Cancer Care Center answered
Different types of treatment are available for patients with colon cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.