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The following are the options for colorectal cancer treatment:

  • Surgery: Surgery is considered the primary treatment for colorectal cancer, limited to the colon or rectum. It prevents the tumor from spreading by removing the cancerous tissues, lymph nodes, and surrounding healthy tissues. The choice of surgery depends upon the stage of cancer. If the cancer is in the initial stage, the oncosurgeon advises minimally invasive surgeries, such as endoscopic mucosal resection, polyp removal during colonoscopy, and laparoscopic surgery. However, in advanced cancer cases, the patients may undergo segmental resection, hemicolectomy, or partial colectomy. Total colectomy is generally not indicated for treating colon cancer. In the case of rectal cancer, the specialist recommends several surgical options, such as pelvic exenteration, proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis, transanal endoscopic microsurgery, low anterior resection, polypectomy, and transanal excision. The surgery should be performed by the best colorectal surgeon in India.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves administering drugs that kill the rapidly growing cells in the body, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer can be used alone or in a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may also be used in advanced cancer as a part of palliative care to relieve cancer symptoms. Chemotherapy may be delivered systemically or through a regional route (into the arteries carrying blood to the tumor).
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is not often used to treat colon cancer; however, it is a common treatment for rectal cancer. Radiation therapy is used in colon cancer in certain situations, such as before surgery to shrink the tumor, during surgery (intraoperative radiation therapy), in addition to chemotherapy in patients unsuitable for surgery, and to relieve symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. Types of radiation therapy include external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy (placing radioactive material near or into the tumor).
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy enhances the ability of the immune system of the patient to detect and kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering in the processes that assist the cancer cells in evading the attack of the immune system.
  • Targeted therapy: Certain specific genes and proteins are present in the cancer cells that are essential for the growth and existence of cancer cells. Targeted therapy attacks those genes and proteins and prevents the growth of cancer cells. The side effects of targeted therapy are low as compared to other modalities.

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