When it comes to treating colon cancer, there are several types of treatments. Symptoms of colon cancer may be mild or severe, and the treatment depends on the type of disease. A stool test will help diagnose the cancer and its stage. Imaging tests are also performed to see if cancer has spread. If a colonoscopy reveals cancer, the treatment will be determined. The symptoms of colon cancer may be similar to symptoms of other conditions.
Radiation therapy is a form of treatment that uses powerful beams of energy to destroy cancer cells before and after surgery. When combined with chemotherapy, it has proven effective in shrinking the tumor and relieving symptoms of colon cancer. During treatment, a doctor may also give a patient immunotherapy, which stimulates the immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. However, there are side effects of radiation therapy. This treatment is not suited for all patients.
When colon cancer has spread to lymph nodes, a partial colectomy may be performed. A physician removes the affected portion of the colon and the adjacent lymph nodes. Adjuvant chemo may also be used. Some patients may also receive 5-FU, leucovorin, or capecitabine alone. These treatments may not be enough to completely cure the cancer. However, they may provide relief from the symptoms of colon cancer.
Fortunately, colon cancer can be treated if detected early. If you are over 45, you should get screened for colon cancer. Eating a healthy diet, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and wheat bran may all help prevent the disease. While it is impossible to avoid colon cancer altogether, you can reduce your risk by being physically active, avoiding smoking, and reducing your calorie intake. This is important because early detection is when colon cancer is most treatable.
Surgery may also be needed for colon cancer patients. This procedure involves cutting part of the colon above the cancer level and attaching the resulting portion to an opening in the skin. This surgery may be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the cancer. In the event that chemotherapy or radiation therapy is used, a stoma may be necessary. The stoma may be permanent, or reattached later on.
Staging tests may include an abdominal CT scan, pelvic CT scan, and chest CT scan. Sometimes, a stage is not determined until the cancer has spread. Stages range from 0 to IV, where the lowest stage is considered “in situ” and the highest stage, “stage III,” indicates cancer has spread throughout the colon. The doctor may recommend chemotherapy and/or surgery to treat the cancer. It may also be combined with radiation.
Another type of treatment for colorectal cancer is immunotherapy, a type of drug that boosts the immune response to cancer cells. Immunotherapy has two different forms, active immunotherapy and passive immunotherapy. Active immunotherapy involves stimulating the patient’s immune system to recognize abnormal components of cancer cells and selectively kill them. Other forms of immunotherapy may include vaccines and immunotherapy. These treatments are highly effective for advanced colorectal cancer.
Surgery is another treatment for colon cancer. Surgeons use various techniques to remove colon cancer tumors. Local excision is an option if the polyp is small and is accessible through the rectum. A partial colonectomy involves removing a portion of the colon containing the cancer and reconnecting it with healthy tissue. However, patients with advanced disease may need surgery. If surgery is not possible, another option is immunotherapy. These medications have several benefits.
Another type of treatment is targeted therapy. In this treatment, doctors use drugs that target specific molecules in the cancer cells, which disables them. This treatment is generally given as injections or pills and may be combined with other treatments. Luckily, colon cancer is treatable if caught early. If the cancer is detected early, however, there is a high chance of cure. The survival rate for colon cancer is highly dependent on the stage at which it was diagnosed.
Monoclonal antibodies target an enzyme that prevents the growth of blood vessels around the tumor. These drugs are used in combination with chemotherapy agents to slow tumor growth. These medications target a receptor on the surface of 60 to 80 percent of colon cancer cells. They are primarily used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. These medications are known to delay the growth of the disease and even cure the disease. But it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that the treatment will be effective.