Colon cancer is a type of colorectal cancer that affects men and women worldwide. Thankfully, different treatments exist to either try to eliminate this cancer or at least slow its progression. The treatments for colon cancer have improved survival rates significantly over the years and have allowed doctors to offer patients more assuring colon cancer care.
The type of colon cancer treatment that is needed is dependent on the cancer stage and the tumor grade. In its earliest stages, colon cancer is often a highly treatable disease with promising survival rates. Advanced colon cancer and high-grade tumors often need stronger treatments or a combination of therapies. Medical professionals also take each patient's age and current health status into consideration when recommending treatments. Another consideration is whether the treatment is intended to try to eliminate the cancer or alleviate symptoms if the cancer cannot be cured.
Surgery is sometimes the only treatment that is needed to eliminate any cancerous tumors or precancerous polyps from the colon, and this is especially true if the cancer is still in an early stage. If a doctor notices an unusual growth in the colon during a colonoscopy, the growth may be removed entirely with surgery. Doctors may also remove a small tissue sample from a suspicious area of the colon so that it can be tested (biopsied) to determine if any cancer or precancerous cells are present.
If the cancer is more advanced, part of the colon or the entire organ might need to be removed with a surgical procedure known as a colectomy. Neighboring lymph nodes are also usually removed with this surgery so that they can be tested to determine if cancer has spread beyond the colon.
Doctors usually recommend chemotherapy if the cancer has likely spread to other areas of the body and after surgery to remove the initial tumors from the colon has been completed. Chemotherapy is an umbrella term for different drugs that are given intravenously or prescribed in pill form. These drugs are formulated to kill cancer cells and often work well in preventing recurrences of colon cancer as well as other cancers.
This therapy uses powerful energy waves to destroy cancer cells, and medical professionals who administer this treatment know how to target the correct areas of the body to eliminate as much of the cancer as possible with little or no damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Radiation treatment is sometimes recommended if surgery cannot be performed.
Immunotherapy has proven to be a revolutionary weapon in the fight against colon cancer. This treatment essentially programs the body's immune system to recognize cancer cells so that these cells can be destroyed naturally. The medications that are used in immunotherapy are usually administered intravenously but may also be given orally or directly through the skin. Immunotherapy is usually reserved for more advanced cancers or cancers that haven't responded well to other treatments.
Targeted Drug Therapy
If colon cancer has reached an advanced stage, a doctor may recommend this therapy to try to disrupt abnormal changes that are known to occur in cancer cells and are vital to the survival and growth of these cells. This treatment is sometimes used in conjunction with chemotherapy to try to give the patient the best outcome possible or at least relieve their symptoms.
Even though the war on cancer is not yet over, the available colon cancer treatment options offer many patients hope. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colon cancer, talk to a doctor to learn more about the different colon cancer treatments.Share
6 March 2023
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