Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Everything You Need to Know
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frightened. You may have a lot of questions about colorectal treatment and what to expect. Our physicians will provide you with everything you need to know about the different types of treatment available for colorectal cancer, as well as the potential side effects. We hope that this information will help ease your mind and help you make the best decisions for your health!
The first thing you need to know is that there are different types of colorectal cancer, which means that there is not just one treatment option. The type of cancer you have will be the biggest factor in deciding what kind of treatment you will receive. The most common type of colorectal cancer is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the colon or rectum. Other less common types include squamous cell carcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors. Your doctor will determine what type of cancer you have based on your symptoms and a biopsy (tissue sample).
There are several different treatment options available for colorectal cancer, depending on the stage of the disease. The three main types of treatments are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer. The type of surgery you will have depends on the stage of your cancer. For early-stage cancers, a local excision may be all that is needed. This involves removing the cancerous tissue along with a small margin of healthy tissue around it. A more extensive surgery, called a colectomy, may be necessary for larger tumors or if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. This surgery involves removal of part or all of the colon. In some cases, a colostomy may be necessary, which is an operation to create an opening in the abdominal wall so that waste can be diverted into a bag outside of the body.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. It is usually given in addition to surgery, but may be used as the sole treatment for early-stage cancers. Radiation therapy can be given externally, from a machine outside of the body, or internally, through implants placed inside the body.