Treatment for colon cancer may involve radiation therapy or chemotherapy, but the primary treatment in nearly all cases is surgery. We develop a treatment plan to fit your needs based on the location of the tumor and the stage of the disease.
Surgery is the main treatment for colorectal cancer. The cancer and a length of normal colon on either side of the cancer (as well as nearby lymph nodes) are removed. The two ends of the colon are then sewn back together.
We usually perform laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery (MIS). In this method, a lighted tube and special instruments are placed inside the body through a few small incisions, rather than one large one. Laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer works as well as the standard approach and patients recover faster than they do after the usual operations.
Radiation Therapy for Colon and Rectal Cancer
Radiation therapy is treatment with high-energy rays (such as x-rays) to kill or shrink cancer cells. It is usually only used for patients with rectal – not colon – caner. If the size or location of a rectal tumor makes surgery hard, radiation may be used before the surgery to shrink the tumor. Radiation is also given to prevent the cancer from coming back in the place where it started and to treat local recurrences that are causing symptoms such as pain.
Treatments are given 5 days a week for 5 to 6 weeks. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes and is something like having an x-ray for a broken bone.
Side effects of radiation therapy for colon or rectal cancer include mild skin irritation, nausea, diarrhea, rectal or bladder irritation, or tiredness. Sexual problems may also occur in men. Side effects often go away after treatment is over.
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs injected into a vein or given by mouth. These drugs enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, making the treatment useful for cancers that have spread to distant organs.
Chemotherapy after surgery can increase the survival rate for patients with some stages of colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy can also help relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.
Schedule a Consultation at Colorectal Surgical Associates
Contact the Houston colorectal surgeons at the Colorectal Surgical Associates to see which colorectal cancer treatment is right for you.