What are the treatment options?
Your doctor might recommend treatment options taking into account factors such as the stage of cancer (whether it is in the initial or the final stages) and the overall health of the patient. The different treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Surgery for early or initial stage cancer: Your doctor may employ colonoscopy for removing small localised polyps. A procedure called endoscopic mucosal resection may be used for larger polyps. If colonoscopy does not yield the desired result, laparoscopic surgery may be used.
Surgery for invasive colon cancer: A procedure called partial colectomy
is used if the cancer has moved into or through your colon. This involves removing the cancer containing part of the colon, along with a portion of normal tissue on either side.
Surgery for advanced cancer: If the cancer has reached a point of “no cure”, or your general health conditions have dropped considerably, then surgery isn’t done to cure cancer; it is done to bring relief from symptoms such as bleeding and pain.
Chemotherapy involves using drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is usually taken up after surgery to relieve the symptoms of cancer that has spread to either lymph nodes or other areas of the body. It can also be used to shrink the cancer before the surgery.
Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation such as X-rays to kill cancerous cells. It is usually employed in later stages of cancer and together with chemotherapy it can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence in specific areas.