Colon Cancer Treatment: Where to Begin
The treatment prescribed for colon cancer will depend on the stage of the cancer. Some of the most common treatment options are:
- Colectomy surgery to remove cancerous tumors and cells.
- Chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue.
In most cases, stage 0 colon cancer will be treated through a colonoscopy to remove cancerous cells. For more advanced cancer cases in stages I, II, and III, extensive surgery may be necessary to remove portions of the colon that are cancerous.
Colon Cancer Treatment Outcome
The treatment outcome for colon cancer will depend on how far the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Patients that have early colon cancer that has not penetrated beyond the bowel wall may only need surgery as treatment. These patients have a high long-term survival rate of more than 80%.
Patients that have advanced cases of colon cancer where tumors have spread beyond the intestinal wall have a five-year survival rate that is less than 10%.
Chemotherapy is most often recommended to patients with stage III colon cancer for a period of 3 to 6 months. Chemotherapy can also be used to increase survival rates in patients that have stage IV colon cancer.
Radiation therapy is most often used in combination with chemotherapy for patients that have stage III colon cancer. If stage IV colon cancer has spread as far as the liver, different treatment methods may be used to fight cancer in this area of the body, such as:
- Ablation - Burning the cancer.
- Chemotherapy/radiation treatment in the liver.
- Cryotherapy - Freezing cancerous cells.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Although many patients with colon cancer do not have an identifiable cause, there are many different aspects of prevention that can be used to reduce the risk of this disease.
Most research indicates that eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber, not smoking, and exercising regularly will best prevent colon cancer. The National Cancer Institute recommends eating a low-fat diet that is high in fiber with a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Other studies have indicated that aspirin could prevent the multiplication of cancerous cells. Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like Motrin and Aleve, could decrease the size of polyps found in the colon and reduce the risk of cancer. However, more research is necessary to determine the proper dosage for this treatment to reduce the risk of cancer.
Last but not least, the most effective preventative measure to take to reduce the risk of colon cancer is to screen regularly. This can be done through regular doctor’s checkups that include a rectal exam, a fecal occult blood test, and a colonoscopy.
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|Endometrial Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Cervical Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
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|Breast Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Colon Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
1. "Colon Cancer (cont.)." www.medicinenet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.
2. "Preventing Colorectal Cancer - WebMD." WebMD - Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.