Colon Cancer Treatment
The main method for colon cancer treatment is surgical removal of the colon. Postoperative chemotherapy can extend the life of patients whose cancer has spread to adjacent lymph nodes. It is believed that the radiation extends the life of people with cancer of the rectum (rectal). The performance of radiotherapy before surgery allows shrinking the size of the tumor, thereby facilitating the subsequent operation.
Surgical treatment is the cornerstone in the colon cancer treatment. What part of the intestine will be removed depends on the size and type of tumor, as well as its location. In best cases there is only a malignant polyp, which is easily removed. In advanced cases where surgery does not cure the patient, is performed the so called Palliative operations aimed to relieve the patient’s symptoms.
In the course of surgery as a colon cancer treatment may be necessary to establish a permanent colostomy. This is a small opening of the abdominal wall, which opens remaining after resection colon. During this opening evacuate fecal matter, instead of through the anus. These fibers are collected into a small pouch attached to the skin, which is changed regularly in order to prevent skin irritation and an unpleasant odor.
In all cases, the desire of the surgeon is to maintain normal functioning of the colon, without creating a colostomy. This is warranted especially in processes that affect the rectum.
After removal of the tumor, the patient is subject to monitoring in the coming years. About three months after the surgery is performed new colonoscopy. The latter is repeated one year after the operation, and then – every three years. In addition, a so-called occult blood test, which look for the presence of blood in the faeces. Performed and determine the level of so-called CEA – carcinoembryonic antigen. It is a tumor marker which is increased in concentration in the blood of patients with colon cancer. This tag was tested prior to surgery and then at intervals of 2-3 months. New increase in the levels of tumor markers after surgery may be due to a relapse.