Colon cancer refers to the cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the lower end of the digestive tract. Detection in early stages can help in effective treating and curing. Treatment of this cancer depends on factors like stage and type of cancer, side effects, patient’s preference, and overall health.
In many cases, surgery is the best method to go for. While in others Colorectal Cancer Drugs are prescribed by the doctor. Below are different treatments for different stages of colon cancer.
- Removing polyps: Treatment is mainly polypectomy in which polyp is removed completely during a colonoscopy.
- Endoscopic mucosal resection: While removing large polyps, a small amount of colon lining might also be required to be removed.
- Laparoscopic surgery: Even after colonoscopy, polyps might not be removed. TO remove these, several small incisions are made in the abdominal wall, instruments with cameras are inserted with the display on a video monitor and the polyps are removed.
At this stage, only surgical remove of all tumor or lymph nodes is the only way. This helps to avoid spreading of cancer.
With the increasing stage, the risk of life keeps increasing. At stage 2, even after surgery, more treatment might be required. Adjuvant chemotherapy is done to destroy the remaining cancer cells. For patients with rectal cancer, radiation therapy with chemotherapy is done.
This includes surgical remove of tumors, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is used as one of the remedies for rectal cancer patients.
In stage 4, cancer turns into metastatic cancer, where it starts to spread to different locations of the body like liver, lungs, etc. People are encouraged to take regular consulting from the doctor. A combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can make the conditions get better.
Certain therapies that are targeted to a particular cure can be done. This include:
- Anti-angiogenesis therapy: It is targeted to stop angiogenesis, the process of making new blood vessels. This is done to stop cancer from spreading.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Inhibitors: Cetuximab and panitumumab antibodies are used to inhibit EGFR to slow down the growth of colorectal cancer.
Apart from different therapies for different stages, there are drug therapies too. Some of the drugs that are used for curing colon cancer include Ramucirumab (Cyramza), Panitumumab (Vectibix), Regorafenib (Stivarga), Cetuximab (Erbitux), Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap), Bevacizumab (Avastin). These drugs can be used in treatment with or without chemotherapy. However, these drugs have a risk of side effects. Proper consultation with a doctor is advisable.
With all the medications and therapies for cancer, a patient might suffer from pain and serious illness and so do the patient’s family members. Palliative care through doctors and nurses helps in relieving the patient and family members from the stress.
There is no alternative treatment that can cure colon cancer. However, certain activities can help in reducing the stress, anger, sadness, etc. These may help to temporarily redirect thoughts for relief. Some of the activities or therapies that can be used as alternatives are exercise, art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, meditation, etc.