Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or CRC, is one of the most common cancers in America, but it also has some of the best treatment options available. Colorectal cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. CRC treatments are tailored to each person’s specific situation and needs.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon, which is the large intestine. Colorectal cancer can also begin in the rectum, the end of the colon. CRC is the third most common type of cancer in America. Colon cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages, so it’s so important to get screened regularly.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages, but there are some common symptoms of CRC. These include:
- Blood in the stool
- Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
- feeling like you have to have a bowel movement even after you’ve just gone
- Abdominal Pain
- Weight Loss
Colon Cancer Treatment Options
Treatment for Colorectal Cancer includes:
Surgery: Colon cancer may be treated surgically if it is caught early. Surgery for CRC includes removing the cancerous tumor and some of the surrounding tissue. This surgery is called a colectomy.
There are two types of colectomy:
- – Open colectomy: This surgery is done through a large incision in the abdomen.
- – Laparoscopic colectomy: This surgery is done through several small incisions in the abdomen.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often combined with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy. There are many different chemotherapy drugs, and each drug works differently.
Chemotherapy drugs work by entering the cells of the cancerous tumor and killing them. The pills also enter the body’s healthy cells, but the healthy cells can repair themselves. Chemotherapy drugs often cause side effects, such as hair loss and nausea.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. The procedure may include one or more types of radiation therapy. The radiation therapy team will determine the best treatment plan for you.
- External Beam Radiation Therapy: This is the most common type of radiation therapy. The radiation is aimed at the tumor from outside the body.
- Brachytherapy: This is a type of radiation therapy in which the radiation is placed directly into the tumor.
- Chemoradiation: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given together. This type of treatment is often used to treat Colon cancer that has spread to other body parts.
Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to target cancer cells. These drugs are often called molecularly targeted therapies or precision medicines. Targeted therapy aims to kill the cancer cells while sparing the healthy cells. This is different from chemotherapy, which kills both cancer and healthy cells.
Colon cancer is a disease that should not be taken lightly. It is essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any common symptoms, including changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.
Treatment options for colon cancer vary depending on the stage of the disease. Surgery is often the primary treatment option, but radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy are also used. It’s important to remember that each person’s specific situation and needs should be considered when deciding on a treatment plan.