Treatment options for colon cancer

Treatment options for colon cancer

Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer. It is a highly preventable and curable cancer if detected in the early stages. The colon is present in the large intestine. The tumors grow in the colon’s inner lining and eventually spread to other parts of the body if not detected and treated. Here are a few of the best treatment options for colon cancer.

It is one of the common ways to remove a tumor. During this process, a portion of the healthy colon or/and nearby lymph nodes are removed along with the tumor. There are various types of surgeries that can be used to treat colon cancer. All the stages of colon cancer can be treated using this method.

  • Laparoscopic surgery
    It is as effective as a colon surgery and the incisions made are smaller. The recovery time is also shorter. This surgery involves the passing of several viewing scopes into the abdomen of the patient who is under the effect of anesthesia.
  • Radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation
    This method includes the application of radiofrequency waves to treat the tumor. The tumor is either heated (RFA) or frozen (cryoablation).
  • Colostomy
    This is the least preferred surgery. A surgical opening is created via which the colon is connected to the abdominal surface. This is to provide a pathway for waste to exit the body. The waste produced is collected in a pouch that is worn by the patient.

Radiation therapy
This method uses high energy X-rays to destroy the cancer cells. It is one of the most common ways to treat colon cancer. A schedule of therapy is created for patients, which includes a specified number of treatments over a given period of time. It is used to treat the second, third and fourth stages of colon cancer.

  • External beam radiation therapy
    It uses a machine to deliver X-rays where the tumor is located. It is given five days a week for several weeks.
  • Stereotactic radiation therapy
    It is used to treat cancer when the tumor gets spread to the lungs and liver. It delivers a precise and large radiation dose to a small area.
  • Chemotherapy
    It is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. It works by destroying the ability of the cancer cells to grow and divide. It consists of a schedule which a specific number of cycles has given over a period of time. The patient receives one drug or a combination of many drugs during this time. It can be given through a tube or can be taken orally in the form of a capsule. It is used to treat the third and fourth stage of cancer.
  • Targeted therapy
    In this therapy, cancer-specific proteins, genes or tissues are targeted. It helps in blocking the growth of cancer cells thereby preventing the spread of cancer cells. A test is done to identify the proteins, genes and other factors related to the tumor to make the treatment more effective. It is used to treat all stages of cancer.

Though all these methods are effective, there are some side effects. The side effects are hard to deal with and often patients need palliative care.

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