If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, then your next step is to think about treatment. Treatment options vary and will be determined by the stage of colon cancer and the location of the cancer. Your oncologist will be able to give you the best advice on which treatment option is right for you. This article is going to explain three of the most common treatments for colon cancer. Keep reading to gain a valuable education.
Surgery is a Standard Treatment for Colon Cancer
Surgery to remove all sections of the bowel that has been affected by cancer is a common treatment in all stages of colon cancer. There are three types of surgery that can be used to remove the cancer. They are:
- Local excision. This is reserved for cancer that is found in the early stages. The doctor will simply insert a tube into your rectum and advance it into the colon. He will then be able to cut away the cancerous part of the colon. If a polyp is involved, he can remove the polyp this way also. This is a fairly simple surgery and requires no incision.
- Resection. This is used if the cancer in the colon has become quite large. The surgeon will make an incision into the abdomen and remove part of the colon that is affected by the cancer. He will also remove small sections of healthy tissue that surrounds the diseased section of the bowel. Lymph nodes near the colon may be removed so they can be examined to determine if the cancer has spread. The surgeon will then sew the two healthy ends of the bowel together.
- Resection and colostomy. Depending on the what part of the colon is affected and how much of the colon is involved, the surgeon may be unable to sew the healthy ends back together. In that case, one end of the bowel will be brought through a hole that is made in the abdomen. This is called a stoma. The patient will then need to wear bag over the stoma because the waste is now being expelled through the stoma. This is called a colostomy. Many people are able to lead normal lives after a colostomy.
Radiation to Treat Colon Cancer
Radiation can be high energy x-rays or other forms of radiation that is used to kill off cancer cells or to keep them from growing. Radiation may be given externally or it may be given internally through needles, seeds or catheters that are placed near the cancer. The way radiation is used is determined by the location and the size of the cancer.
Chemotherapy Treatment for Colon Cancer
Chemotherapy drugs can be used to kill cancer cells or to stop them from spreading. Chemotherapy can be injected through the vein or ingested through the mouth in the form of pills. It can also be injected directly into the area that is affected by the cancer such as the abdomen or the spine.
All of these treatments may be used alone or in combination with each other. A lot of patients that have surgery to remove part of the diseased colon will have chemotherapy or radiation to kill of any traveling cancer cells.
Colon cancer can be cured if caught early enough and contained. Stay in tune to your body and get regular check ups.
Whilst every opportunity has been take to ensure that all information is correct and up to date at time of writing, it is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please always consult your doctor or health care specialist if you are in any way concerned about your health.