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Treatment For Colorectal Cancer

Nov 22

Treatment incorporates the most up-to-date technology and research, as well as a multidisciplinary team approach suited to your specific needs. For colorectal treatment, surgeons employ minimally invasive procedures to speed up recovery and improve your quality of life.

One or more of the following treatments may be used to treat colorectal cancer:



Colorectal cancer is most commonly treated with surgery, especially if it hasn't spread. Colorectal cancer surgery is most successful when performed by a surgeon who has a lot of expertise with the operation.

Depending on the stage and location of the tumor, many types of surgery are used, including:

  • Polypectomy entails inserting a colonoscope, which is a long tube with a camera at one end, into the rectum and guiding it to the polyp. The polyp is removed using tiny instruments or a wire loop. For stage 0 and limited colon cancer instances, a polypectomy is the best option.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) or endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD): If a polyp is too big to be removed with standard polypectomy, an EMR or ESD may be used. Small devices introduced via a colonoscope will be used by your doctor to do comprehensive surgery from within the colon. The polyp will be removed, as well as some surrounding tissue. Major surgery can sometimes be avoided with this modern endoscopic treatment.
  • Colectomy: A colectomy involves removing the cancerous segment of the colon, as well as some healthy surrounding tissue and all related lymph nodes. Under a microscope, the lymph nodes will be inspected to see if cancer has spread to them. The remaining parts of the colon are subsequently rejoined by the surgeon. A hemicolectomy, or partial colectomy, is another name for this procedure. In most cases, it can be done using a minimally invasive procedure (see below).
  • When the cancer is found in the rectum, your surgeon will remove a portion of the rectum, as well as surrounding tissue that contains lymph nodes. The colon may usually be pulled down and attached to the residual rectum or to the anus directly. Sphincter preservation surgery allows you to keep complete control of your bowel motions.
  • Rectal malignancies can sometimes develop into neighboring tissues inside the pelvis, resulting in pelvic exenteration. If this happens, it's critical that the tumor and any other structures it's affecting be totally removed during surgery. A pelvic exenteration is a highly specialized procedure that entails removing any cancerous structures, such as the rectum, a portion of the colon, reproductive organs, or the bladder. Your surgical team will subsequently undertake reconstructive surgery once these structures have been removed. It's possible that you'll have to create new channels for waste to depart your body. Pelvic exenteration is a life-changing surgery that need the assistance of a medical professional.
  • Small incisions are made in the belly to admit a tiny camera and surgical equipment into minimally invasive robotic or laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon then performs the procedure using high-definition video imaging, including 3D. MD Anderson physicians are among the most skilled in minimally invasive robotic colorectal cancer surgery in the world.
  • Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery recover faster and have less discomfort. Your doctor will determine whether traditional open surgery or minimally invasive robotic or laparoscopic surgery is the best option.
  • Colorectal cancer surgery is most successful when performed by a surgeon who has a lot of expertise with the operation. Colorectal cancer surgery is performed by surgeons who are experts in the area and are national and international leaders.

colorectal cancer treatment

Adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment

Surgery alone, surgery and chemotherapy, or surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can all be used to treat colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation treatment may be used to treat the following conditions:

  • This is known as neoadjuvant treatment.
  • Adjuvant treatment is used after surgery.

The goal of neoadjuvant therapy is to reduce the tumor, making surgery and recuperation simpler for the patient. Adjuvant treatment is used to destroy any cancer cells that were missed after surgery and to keep cancer from reoccurring.



Chemotherapy is a treatment that employs strong medications to kill or slow the development of cancer cells. It is a systemic therapy, which means it kills cancer cells all throughout your body.

Chemotherapy medications can be taken orally (as tablets) or intravenously (as injections) (injected into a vein).

Chemotherapy can assist with:

  • Reduce the size of cancer before surgery.
  • Maintain your cancer-free status following surgery.
  • When surgery is not a possibility, you can live a longer life.


Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment destroys cancer cells by focusing high-energy photon beams. Advanced radiation therapies include:

  • Radiation therapy in three dimensions: Several radiation beams are delivered in the precise shape of the tumor.
  • Treatment is adjusted to the individual form of the tumor to limit harm to normal tissue via intensity-modulated radiation (IMRT).
  • Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment that employs protons to target cancer while minimizing harm to healthy tissue.
  • Brachytherapy is a type of treatment in which small radioactive seeds are implanted in the body near the tumor.
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) is a type of radiation treatment that is used to treat a tumor that is exposed during cancer surgery. Healthy organs and tissues are shielded or transferred out of the radiation area.



Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that makes use of the body's inherent defenses. Specially tailored medications can boost white blood cells (T cells), which are part of the immune system and can detect and kill cancer cells.

Immunotherapy, in its early stages, relied on medications to enhance the body's immune system in order to combat cancer cells. Recently, scientists discovered numerous proteins on the surface of T cells that operate as a brake, or checkpoint, blocking them from attacking cancer cells.


Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are a critical component in the fight against cancer. Patients can volunteer to take part in these research projects, which aid doctors in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and therapy.

Patients can participate in clinical trials to get experimental drugs or therapies, but not all patients are eligible.

Ask your doctor whether you would be a good candidate for a colorectal clinical study if you're interested.