Treatments for Colon Cancer

There are different treatments for colon cancer. Your choices depend on the stage of your tumor and your health condition.

Among the treatments available, surgery is the top choice and the main treatment option for all stages.

Advanced tumor in the bowel requires a different type of therapy and even a combination of treatments. A new method of treating bowel tumor is proton radiation therapy.

Treating the disease is done through any of the following medical procedures:

1. Surgery

There are varied ways of surgically removing cancerous cells depending on its stage.

The surgical treatments can either be:

a. Local excision or

b. Polypectomy

Both treatments are used for very early stage colon tumor. There is no need to make an incision in the abdomen. A tube is inserted through the rectum into the bowel and the cancerous cells are then removed.

The difference between the two treatments is: local excision is for tumors located in the bowel wall while polypectomy is for tumors found inside precancerous polyps.

2. Radical bowel resection

This is recommended for treating larger tumors and is prescribed for 80-90% of bowel cancer cases.

It is done through 2 types of surgical treatments:

  • Open surgery (a large incision is made in your abdomen)
  • Laparoscopic surgery (several tiny incisions).

Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive and can help prevent extensive damage to the bowel.

The steps in radical bowel resection include:

  • Partial colectomy - the tumor and a portion of the healthy lymph nodes surrounding the tumor are removed. It can either be temporary or permanent.
  • End-to-end anastomosis – the healthy segments of the upper and lower bowel are sewn together.

In some cases, the upper and the lower bowels cannot be reconnected right after the surgery. Your doctor will then make an opening outside your abdomen and attach a bag to it. The opening is where your waste can pass through and the bag collects the waste.

This procedure is called either temporary or permanent colectomy. It is temporary if the end of the lower bowel heals and can be joined with the upper colon. But if the lower colon is damaged and has to be removed entirely, the colectomy becomes permanent.

Treatments for colon cancer at stage 4 include partial hepatectomy (a portion of your liver will be removed) and oophorectomy (your ovaries are also removed) if your doctor recommends surgery as your treatment.

3. Chemotherapy

This is the most common and the first choice among the treatments for colon cancer stage 4. At advanced stage, the tumor has already spread to your liver. Thus, chemo is prescribed to shrink the cancer in your liver before other treatments are further used.

Chemo is also recommended after surgery particularly if the cancer is at stage 2 and above. Using both treatments helps prevent it from recurring. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, may I suggest that you take Spirulina supplements? One of Spirulina health benefits is protection of your heart against negative side effects of chemo drugs.

4. Targeted therapy

An example of targeted therapy is monoclonal antibody therapy.

This is usually used with traditional chemo in treating metastatic colon tumor but it works differently from standard chemo.

In targeted therapy, either chemo drugs or antibodies from your immune system are used as means of treatments. They directly applied to the tumor to kill it without causing harm to normal cells.

However, this type of treatment is not effective if you have a mutation on your KRAS gene.

5. Ablative therapies

These treatments for colon cancer are recommended if your tumor is metastatic and surgery is not an option.

Examples of ablative treatments are:

  • Radiofrequency ablation and
  • Cryotherapy.

6. Radiation

This is used together with surgery to shrink the tumor. It is also recommended for advanced tumor to relieve and to prevent worsening of the .

So, what is the best among the treatments for bowel tumor?

It depends largely on the stage and location of the tumor, your age and the state of your health. Be open to and talk to your doctor. Also, discuss the side effects that are expected for all types of treatments for colon cancer.

Related Pages You Might Like:

Colon and Rectal Polyps | What Causes Colon Cancer | Colon Cancer Staging | Ways to Prevent Cancer of the Colon | Signs of Colon Cancer

Treatments for Colon Cancer

Cancer Prevention Home > Bowel and Rectal Tumor > Treating Colorectal Tumor

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