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How is chemotherapy used to treat colorectal cancer?

Daniel Labow, MD
Surgical Oncology
Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs, which are often delivered intravenously, to kill cancer cells. Though generally given after surgery to help ensure that a cancerous growth does not return, doctors may also use the treatment prior to surgery to reduce the size of a tumor.

While the treatment kills cancer cells, it also damages healthy ones as well. For colorectal cancer patients, it may cause side effects such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or mouth sores. These symptoms have become less problematic over time. Medications, however, do exist to ease a patient's symptoms.

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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.