Categorized | Cancer

Treatment of Colon Cancer

When colon cancer has been diagnosed, treatment focuses at removing the primary tumour that caused the cancer and preventing the spread of malignant cells further into the body. The most common ways to treat bowel cancer, as many other forms of cancer, is surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Surgery is by far the most effective and most common treatment. It typically involves removing the affected part and conjoining the healthy parts of the colon.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are becoming increasingly popular as methods of treating colorectal cancer. After surgery these procedures can be performed to stop the spread and reduce more developed tumours. A combined course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be performed on the patient in preparation for a rectal cancer removal operation. This form of treatment is thought to reduce the chances of the cancer repeating as well as raising the possibility of survival.

In the case of rectal cancer, radiotherapy is widely used during the surgical procedure, since it is thought to reduce the chance of the tumour reoccurring. For colon cancer, radiotherapy is not applied, but chemotherapy may be used if the doctors discover that the cancer has spread to lymphatic nodes. Chemotherapy usually results in serious side effects, such as hair loss and nausea, but the latter can be soothed by other forms of medication.

There are complication risks following colon cancer operations, including leakage from the operated intestine which often requires a second surgical procedure and paralysis of the intestines, which is usually short-term and disappears effortlessly in a few days. There are also the complications that can be caused by general anaesthesia, such as pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and vein thrombosis.

It is important to make sure that the patient is getting the best possible treatment, even if it means complaining if the medical service is not of the highest standard. It is also necessary to remain positive and focus on the 50 per cent chance of survival.

The effectiveness of the treatment mainly depends on how advanced the cancer is when it is diagnosed. The survival rates have been increasing, but only half of the patients with developed colon cancer live longer than five years. However, in cases when bowel cancer is diagnosed in early stages, before it spreads to other internal organs, the chances of recovery are at least 80 per cent.

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