Colon Cancer Treatment

Colon Cancer Treatment depends largely on the colon cancer stages. Most often, when the cancer is caught during its early stages, it can still be curable. However, when the cancer starts to spread and is detected at a later stage, the chance of cure is slim.  According a research published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery, the colon cancer stage at the time of diagnosis has a great impact on colon cancer survival rates. It was found that at Stage 1, colon cancer survival rate is 93% but drops to 59% once the cancer moves to Stage 3.

Colon Cancer Treatment is determined by the extent the cancer has spread or metastasized. The three standard treatment options being used for colon cancer are:

SURGERY – surgery is the most common treatment modality for all stages of colon cancer. Some types of colon cancer surgery are:

a.    local excision – local excision is done when the cancer is found at a very early stage. this doesn’t require cutting through the abdominal wall. Instead, the doctor inserts a tube through the rectum and into the colon to cut the cancer out.

b.    Resection – this type of surgery is done when the cancer is larger. The cancer is removed, including some healthy tissues around it. This colon cancer treatment is called partial colectomy. The remaining healthy parts of the colon are then sewed together or anastomosed. During surgery, a sample of lymph nodes may also be extracted for further examination, if cancer has spread to them.

c.    Resection and Colostomy – this type of colon cancer is performed when the doctor is not able to sew the two ends of the colon back together after removal of the cancer. An opening, called stoma, is then made on the abdomen for waste to pass through. This colon cancer treatment procedure, called colostomy, uses a bag that is placed around the stoma to collect the waste. A colostomy can either be temporary (until the lower colon is healed) or permanent.

d.    Cryosurgery – cryosurgery is another type of colon cancer surgery that uses an instrument to freeze and destroy cancerous tissue. This is usually done for carcinoma-in-situ.

Some cancer cells may still be present even after surgical removal of cancer tissues. Adjuvant therapy is then recommended, that is surgery coupled with other Colon Cancer Treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

CHEMOTHERAPY – colon cancer chemotherapy makes use of drugs to kill cancer cells or stop their growth and division. This colon cancer treatment uses chemotherapy drug, which can be taken by mouth, injected into a vein or placed directly into the spinal column, depending on what stage colon cancer is. However the method is, chemotherapeutic drugs travel throughout the body and target cancer cells.

RADIATION THERAPY – colon cancer radiation is another type treatment method that uses high-energy x-rays to target cancer cells. Radiation can either be external or internal. External Radiation uses a machine outside the body to kill cancer cells. Internal Radiation, on the other hand, uses radioactive substances that are implanted directly into the body where the cancer is located. This type of Colon Cancer Treatment uses seeds, wires or catheters.