Metastatic colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death from cancers and tumors in the USA and unfortunately the survival rate for those diagnosed with it is below 10%.
If you have been diagnosed with a metastatic colon cancer then your life will change, but you should always remember that there is chance that you’ll be cured and try to fight the illness as much as you can.
Colon cancer occurs when a tumor appears in the colon or in the rectum. The colon and the rectum together form the large intestine. First, only a tumor appears either in the colon or in the rectum, but if it is not treated then the tumor will spread, and in time it will affect other organs, such as the liver and the lungs, causing tumors to appear in them too. This is the final phase of colon cancer, when it has spread too much and there are too many cancerous cells in the body. It is also called stage IV colon cancer or metastatic colon cancer.
When doctors discover colon cancer they usually immediately recommend surgery to remove the part of the large intestine where the tumor has grown. After the surgery several tests are performed to see if the cancer has spread. If the result is positive and the cancerous cells are discovered in other distant places of the body then you will receive the stage IV colon cancer diagnosis.
You still have several treatment options after the metastatic colon cancer diagnose. What the best treatment for you is will be determined by several clinical trials. The treatment is very influenced by how far has the metastatic colon cancer has spread.
If it has only spread to a single organ different from the large intestine then the treatment has higher chances of success because it can be directed to that single site. The most common place where metastatic colon cancer spreads is the liver, and sometimes the lungs.
The problem is that at most patients colon cancer has spread to many other locations, and the treatment can not be directed to a single site.
The best treatment option in this situation is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is done by injecting, directly in the blood, certain substances that have the ability of killing cancer cells. Chemotherapy has severe side effects like loss of hair, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and many more. The survival rate for chemotherapy-treated patients is not too high, but it increases each year and new techniques are continuously researched and developed.
We can only hope that the future will bring good news for those with metastatic colon cancer, and also remember that some manage to survive it and you could be among them.