Effective Colon Cancer Treatment Options
The two main categories of colon cancer treatments include system treatments, such as chemotherapy or targeted biologic therapies; and local treatments that focus on one specific area, such as radiation or surgery. The American Cancer Society notes that when colon cancer is detected in the early stages, the 5-year survival rate is 92%.
The type of treatment recommended by an oncologist will depend on the stage of cancer, patient’s physical health, as well as the patient’s personal choice. Cancer patients often work with their doctor to design a treatment plan that encompasses a few of the following treatments:
Colon cancer surgery involves removal of the cancer cells through surgery. It is often applicable for early-stage colon cancers. Additionally, the type of surgery recommended depends on how far the cancer has spread, the cancer location, and the patient’s health.
Most of early colon cancers including stage 0, as well as some early stage 1 tumors, can be removed through colonoscopy. Additionally, most polyps can also be eliminated during a colonoscopy. A wire loop instrument is used during a polypectomy to the stalk of the cancerous polyp. The instrument is passed via the colonoscope, a long, flexible tube fixed with a camera and light at the tip.
This form of colon cancer surgery enlists a colorectal surgeon to remove a portion of the intestine. In extreme cases, a total colectomy is performed involving the removal of the entire colon. A colectomy can be performed through the following two main ways: laparoscopically or open. While performing colectomy, the goal of the surgeon is for the patient to return to the most normal bowel function possible. To determine how far the cancer has spread, a pathologist performs a colon cancer screening on tissues removed from lymph nodes. The lymph nodes removal also reduces the risk of cancer coming back again.
4. Colostomy surgery
Colostomies are created to allow for proper colon healing after surgery. Most colostomies that are created to treat colon cancer are temporal waste disposal system from the body.
5. Local therapy
Radiation therapy is sometimes used to treat colon cancer. It is among effective colon cancer medications used in conjunction with chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. This is also an option for people who cannot tolerate colon cancer surgery. Radiation therapy is often performed five days a week.
6. Systemic therapy
Systemic therapy involves procedures that affect the whole body rather than focusing in a specific area. Chemotherapy is one of the colon cancer medications involving drugs that travel throughout the body killing fast-dividing cells including hair and nail cells. It is usually applicable for later stages of colon cancers and it can be used to shrink cancer cells before being removed through surgery.
7. Targeted therapy
This colon cancer targeted treatment is often paired with chemotherapy. Other colon cancer treatment options include immunotherapy. If after colon cancer screening, you are diagnosed with the cancer, medical professionals will tell you the best treatment option to go with based on many factors.