Patients diagnosed with colon cancer may need to undergo surgery, chemotherapy, and inter-ventional radiology depending not the stage of cancer. Some patients need to undergo a combi-nation of treatments to ensure the risk of cancer returning is completely eliminated or reduced. Your surgeon will determine your best treatment options based on the stage of cancer you are in.
Recognizing Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
The earliest stages of colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms. Patients at risk of colo-rectal cancer are encouraged to undergo a cancer screening. Some of the symptoms at later stages include:
• Significant changes in bowel habits that last for more than a few days
• Rectal bleeding
• Blood in the stool
• Moderate to severe abdominal cramping
• Weakness and fatigue
• Significant weight loss
Surgery and Treatment for Colorectal Cancer
Treatment for Stage I Colorectal Cancer
At this stage, the cancer has grown through several layers of the colon but has not yet spread to the colon wall. Surgery involves removing the cancer completely and the adjacent draining lymph nodes, and in some cases, reconstructing the bowel. The location of the tumor, the pres-ence of other cancers, and the stage of cancer all influence the type of surgery being performed.
Treatment for Stage II Colorectal Cancer
At this stage, the cancer has growth through the wall of the colon and may extend into nearby tissue. Treatment may include radiation therapy and additional chemotherapy to reduce the risk of systemic recurrence.
Treatment for Stage III Colorectal Cancer
At this stage, the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes but has not yet spread to other parts of the body. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are typically necessary at this stage. You will need to undergo a CT scan to detect any cancer that has spread outside of the colon to other sites including the abdominal cavity and liver.
Treatment for Stage IV Colorectal Cancer
When the cancer has spread to distant organs and tissues such as the liver, you may need to undergo chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Chemotherapy is the first step in the treatment process. In almost all cases, Stage IV colorectal cancer must be treated with a multi-disciplinary approach.
Learn more about treatment options for colorectal cancer by scheduling your appointment at our Los Angeles or Glendale office today.