How to cure colon cancer?
In order to cure colon cancer ,the type of treatment a doctor prescribes is highly dependent on the stage of the cancer and may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and various types of surgery.
Early-stage colon cancer surgery
If the colon cancer is small, minimally invasive surgery may be considered, such as:
Removal of polyps during colonoscopy
If the cancer is small and completely localized inside the polyp, and is at a very early stage, the doctor can completely remove it during this procedure.
Endoscopic mucosal resection
This intervention can be performed if the boundaries of the tumor are clearly defined during endoscopy , there are no visual signs of deep extension into the submucous layer of the intestinal wall, the degree of differentiation of the tumor is G1 or G2.
Surgery for locally advanced colon cancer
If the cancer grows deep into the wall of the colon, the following types of surgeries can be performed:
Colon resection, partial colectomy, hemicolectomy
During this procedure, the surgeon removes the portion of the colon that contains the cancer, along with the edge of normal tissue on either side of the tumor.
Usually, the surgeon can reconnect healthy parts of the colon. This procedure can also be performed using a minimally invasive approach (laparoscopy).
Colostomy removal surgery
Sometimes a tumor blocks the lumen of the intestine, this is called an intestinal obstruction. In this case, an overstretching of the intestinal walls with feces occurs, blood circulation in the intestinal wall is disturbed and inflammation occurs.
With pronounced changes in the intestinal wall, it may be impossible to restore the connection of parts of the colon, and the formation of a colostomy may be required.
It is about creating an opening in the wall of the abdomen from the rest of the intestine for removing the stool into a bag (colostomy bag), which is securely attached over this opening.
Sometimes colostomy is only temporary, allowing the walls of the colon to return to normal after surgery, and then, after the inflammatory process has resolved, the intestinal continuity is restored. However, in some cases, the colostomy may be permanent.
Lymph node surgery. Nearby lymph nodes are usually also removed during colon cancer surgery and checked for metastases.
In special cases, when there are distant metastases of colon cancer to the liver without affecting other organs, and the general state of health of the patient is otherwise good, surgery is required to remove the metastases from the liver.
Chemotherapy can be applied before or after this type of surgery. This approach provides a chance to get rid of cancer in the long term.
Surgery for advanced colon cancer
If the cancer is very common, or the patient’s general health is too poor, surgery may be needed to remove the blockage in the colon when the tumor has completely blocked the colon lumen.
Usually, endoscopic surgery is performed, in which a special device, a stent, is inserted through the narrowed area. The stent expands and restores normal fecal conduction.
The position of the stent is necessarily additionally monitored by X-rays.
Other surgeries may also be performed to relieve symptoms of the disease. These surgeries are not performed to cure cancer, but to relieve symptoms and signs of illness, such as bleeding and pain.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
Sometimes chemotherapy can be given before surgery to reduce the risk of cancer progression. However, before surgery, it is more often performed for rectal cancer than for colon cancer.
Chemotherapy can also be given to relieve symptoms of colon cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, so it is recommended to cure colon cancer.
Radiation therapy uses powerful energy sources such as X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
This therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, is one of the standard treatments for rectal tumors at the initial stage, after which surgery is performed.
Targeted therapy uses drugs that attack specific receptors in cancer cells. They can be administered concurrently with chemotherapy or as a stand-alone treatment. Targeted drugs are usually for people with advanced colon cancer.
If chemotherapy is unsuccessful, a study can be carried out to identify the so-called microsatellite instability (MSI / MMR). If this marker is detected, immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors can be applied.
Whether colon cancer has a chance to respond to immune drugs can also be determined using a special morphological test of tumor tissue.
Supportive (palliative) care
Palliative care is specialized medical care aimed at relieving pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care professionals work with the patient, family and other providers to provide an additional level of support to complement ongoing care.
Palliative care at Rassvet Clinic is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specially trained professionals. Palliative care teams are committed to improving the quality of life for people with cancer. This form of care is offered alongside a variety of treatments.