The evidence-based treatment plan your doctors choose is based on a number of factors: type of cancer, grade and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment preferences.
If your cancer has not spread beyond the colon or lymph nodes, surgery to remove the tumor is the most common treatment. Depending on your specific case, family history, and doctor’s recommendations, the following surgical options may be used:
- Local Excision: A tube is placed up the rectum into the colon, and the cancerous tumor is removed. This procedure is used most often with early stage cancers.
- Partial Colectomy: Both the tumor and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes are removed. This surgery is used for larger tumors. In many cases, your surgeon will reconnect the healthy portions of the colon and rectum, possibly avoiding the need for a permanent colostomy.
- Partial Resection or Total Colectomy and Colostomy: If your surgeon cannot reconnect the colon, a colostomy will be necessary. A surgical opening will be made through the wall of the abdomen into the colon; this is where waste material will leave the body and be collected by a special bag. The colostomy may either be temporary or permanent.
Chemotherapy for colon cancer involves the use of medications to destroy cancer cells. It can be used before surgery, with the goal of shrinking a tumor before the operation. Most commonly, however, it is given after surgery if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This can help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. Your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials.
Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat symptoms of your cancer.
Learn more about radiation therapy options at Middlesex