Thursday, 22 September 2016

Colorectal cancer treatment

Colorectal cancer treatment
Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage at which cancer was discovered.  Early stage colorectal cancer is best treated with surgery. Rectal cancer however may require additional radiation therapy to minimize the risk of recurrence. Treatment depends on many things, including stage of the cancer. Treatments may include:
·         Surgery to remove cancer cells,
·         Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells,
·         Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue.

Surgery
This is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer and is often called surgical resection. Part of the healthy colon or rectum and nearby lymph nodes can also be removed.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. Systemic chemotherapy gets into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Common ways to give chemotherapy include an intravenous (IV) tube placed into a vein using a needle or in a pill or capsule that is swallowed (orally). A chemotherapy regimen, or schedule, usually consists of a specific number of cycles given over a set period of time. A patient may receive 1 drug at a time or combinations of different drugs at the same time. Chemotherapy is also used to improve symptoms and prolong survival in patients with stage IV colon cancer. Chemotherapy may be given after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. For some people with rectal cancer, the doctor will give chemotherapy and radiation therapy before surgery to reduce the size of a rectal tumor and reduce the chance of the cancer returning.
Radiation
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. It is commonly used for treating rectal cancer because this tumor tends to recur near where it originally started. A radiation therapy schedule usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. Radiation therapy is sometimes used in patients with colon cancer.
Targeted therapies
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells. The types of targeted therapies used in the treatment of colon cancer include the following:
·         Monoclonal antibodies: The antibodies attach to the substances and kill the cancer cells, block their growth, or keep them from spreading. Monoclonal antibodies are given by infusion. They may be used alone or to carry drugs, toxins, or radioactive material directly to cancer cells.
·         Angiogenesis inhibitors: Angiogenesis inhibitors stop the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow.

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