Bowel cancer is a complex disease, the treatment of which depends on the stages of development of oncology and the location of the neoplasm.
Treatment of bowel cancer in the initial stages is performed surgically. Often, all cancer cells are removed from the patient’s body, and the patient no longer calls for help: the cancer is completely cured. To reduce the chances of a relapse of oncology after an operation to remove intestinal cancer, the oncology patient is given a course of chemotherapy.
Rectal cancer involves the provision of radiotherapy before or after surgery. Sometimes radiotherapy is combined with chemotherapy. Thus, the maximum reduction in the number of cancer cells, which simplifies the operation.
The advanced stage of colon cancer means that the tumor has spread to different parts of the organ. Doctors call this a local spread of the tumor. If the tumor has spread to other organs (lungs, liver), then this is secondary, or metastatic cancer. Usually, bowel cancer at this stage is not treatable. However, it can significantly prolong the life of the cancer patient and improve his health. Sometimes such treatment has no effect, except for side effects.
Treatment of colon cancer will depend on the following factors:
a kind of oncology;
area of the tumor;
An intestinal tumor at a neglected stage is usually treated with chemotherapy. Radiotherapy is used when it is necessary to reduce the size of the tumor to reduce pain in colorectal cancer. Surgery is also possible. It is used to restore the patency of the colon, as well as the removal of secondary cancer from the lungs and liver. Monoclonal antibodies (cetuximab and bevacizumab) are used to temporarily restrain the development of the intestinal tumor.
Cancer of the rectum: treatment, its pluses and minuses
Some patients are afraid to treat colon cancer because of side effects. There is a category of cancer patients who want to know what will happen to them if cancer of the rectum does not subject the body to chemotherapy and other treatment at all.
Deciding on the treatment of cancer at an early stage is not difficult: the chances of a full recovery are great. At a late stage of bowel cancer, some patients refuse treatment. However, they still have palliative support: prescribe medications that will contain the symptoms.
Chemotherapy for bowel cancer
In the early stages of cancer development, three types of chemotherapy are used:
adjuvant treatment (performed after surgery to reduce the risk of relapse);
Neo-adjuvant treatment (performed before surgery to reduce the number of cancer cells and thereby simplify resection);
Neo-adjuvant chemoraderapia (performed before surgery, chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy).
In the treatment of a colon tumor in the early stages, chemotherapy usually uses a 5-fluorouracil (5FU) drug with folinic acid or oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®).
Secondary tumor of the rectum is also subjected to chemotherapy. This type of bowel cancer is almost incurable, but therapy can slow the development of the tumor and alleviate suffering.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of treating advanced colon and small intestine cancer with chemotherapy. In advance it is difficult to predict whether chemotherapy will help a particular patient with colon cancer. However, if the patient’s condition is assessed as normal, then chemotherapy is likely to have a positive effect.
If you have a tumor of the rectum in later stages, then you can refuse from chemotherapy. You will be offered other medications that will have a palliative effect – reduce the symptoms.
Treatment of colon cancer can be continued only after a serious analysis of the situation: the physical condition of the patient, the effect of previous therapy, the degree of tumor development.