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Common colorectal cancer treatments

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Colorectal cancer treatment mainly depends on the size, location, extent of the tumor and the patient’s general health condition. Several cancer treatments are used to treat colorectal cancer. Sometimes doctors treat it with a combination approach.

Common colorectal cancer treatments

1. Surgery 

to remove the tumor is the most common method to treat colorectal cancer. Typically, the surgeon removes the tumor along with part of the colon or rectum and nearby lymph nodes. In most cases, the doctor can reconnect healthy parts of the colon or rectum. When it is not possible to reconnect the healthy parts, a temporary or permanent colostomy is needed. A colostomy is a surgery that creates a passage from the colon to the abdominal wall to create a new path to take waste out. After colostomy surgery, patients need to carry a special bag to hold waste. Some patients require a temporary colostomy to allow the lower colon and rectum to heal after surgery. About 15% of colorectal cancer patients require a permanent colostomy.

2. Chemotherapy 

is a method of using anti-cancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used to destroy all remaining cancer cells in the body after surgery, to control tumor growth, or to relieve symptoms of the disease. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning the drugs enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. Most cancer drugs are injected directly into a vein or through a catheter inserted into a large vein and left there for as long as needed. Some cancer drugs come in pill form.

3. Radiation therapy 

also known as radiotherapy, uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is a local treatment, meaning it only affects cancer cells in the irradiated area. This treatment method is often applied to rectal cancer patients. Your doctor may use radiation therapy before surgery (to shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove) or after surgery (to kill any remaining cancer cells in the treatment area). ). Radiation therapy is also used to relieve symptoms. Radiation can come from an external projector (external irradiation) or from an object inserted inside the body and placed directly on or nearby the tumor (internal irradiation). Some patients are treated with both internal and external radiation.

4. Biological therapy 

also known as immunotherapy, uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The body’s immune system searches for cancer cells in the body and destroys them. Biological therapies are used to repair, stimulate or enhance the immune system’s natural cancer-fighting functions. Biological therapy can be treated before surgery, alone or in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Most drugs used in biologic therapy are injected directly into a vein.

Clinical trials to evaluate new treatments are an appropriate treatment option for many patients with colorectal cancer. In some studies, all patients received the new treatment. In other studies, doctors compare different treatments by applying a new treatment that has shown positive results in the laboratory to a group of patients and routine treatments ( standard method) for another group of patients.

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