With more than 103,000 Americans predicted to be diagnosed with the disease by the end of 2012, colon cancer is one of the more prevalent forms of cancer out there. For those that are diagnosed, colon cancer treatment is available in a number of different forms.
Surgery is the most common form of colon cancer treatment. In many instances, physically removing the tumor from the colon is enough to put the patient back on the path to good health.
Colon cancer surgery comes in the following methods:
Local Excision – This is the removal of the cancerous tumor without the need to remove any other tissues.
Colectomy – This procedure sees the tumor removed alongside a small amount of colon tissue.
Colostamy – This procedure occurs if the colon cannot be resealed following a colectomy. An opening is made to the exterior body and a bag is used to collect the waste that ordinarily would pass through the colon. In most cases, the colon will heal with time.
Radiofrequency – In this procedure a small probe is inserted into the abdomen or into the skin which uses electrodes to kill cancerous cells.
Cryotherapy – Cancerous cells are frozen using specialist apparatus. The cold kills these cells.
Whilst surgery is the most common form of colon cancer treatment, chemotherapy is also used to kill off cancerous cells and tumors.
A drug, or series of cancer-killing drugs, is admitted to the body with the express intent of destroying cells that grow abnormally. It is not uncommon for chemotherapy to be used alongside surgery.
Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a common form of colon cancer treatment that can be used in place of in conjunction with surgery. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to destroy cancerous growths within the body.
A lesser used method of colon cancer treatment, targeted therapies use various medicines that are designed to target specific cancerous cells. Unlike chemotherapy, this form of colon cancer treatment is often not systemic, meaning it does not impact other non-cancerous cells.