How effective is surgery as a treatment for colon cancer?

In general, colon cancer is very effectively treated by surgery, if the surgery is performed early, prior to the cancer spreading. This is why it is so important to have regular colonoscopies performed, so that any cancer can be detected early. The purpose of surgery is to remove the primary cancer to prevent complications from the cancer being left in place, such as bleeding, obstruction and perforation, as well as preventing the cancer from spreading. After surgical removal, a pathologist reviews the specimen and assigns a stage to the colon cancer. This staging is what determines the effectiveness of therapy and dictates whether additional therapy such as chemotherapy is needed.

Surgery is one of the most effective treatments for colon cancer, especially when it is caught early. In stage 0 and stage I colon cancer, surgery may cure up to 90 percent of all cases. In stage II, surgery may treat about 70 percent. In stage III, surgery may cure between 30 and 50 percent of colon cancer cases.

Surgery is only one way to treat colon cancer. Depending on the stage of the cancer, surgery may not be an option. Surgery can have a curative intent, but it is most commonly used in addition to other cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Surgery is very effective in the treatment of colon cancer, as long as the cancer is detected early.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.