Stages of Colon Cancer and Treatment Options
Colon cancer is a very fatal disease, in particular, if diagnosed too late. However, treatment success for those who suffer from disease has increased, as has the survival rate. This is due to early prevention along with the development of new therapies for colon cancer. In fact, many early diagnosed colon cancer patients, if treated promptly, are reported to achieve a full recovery from the disease.
The course of therapy varies in different patients regarding the treatment of colon cancer. There are a number of factors that are considered including the state of health of patients and the location and the size of the tumor as well as the severity of colon cancer that are considered by Oncologists (doctors specialized in cancer diagnosis and treatment) in choosing a therapy. The three primary colon cancer treatments include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. As the case may be, a combination of these treatments may be employed for the patient.
For early stages of colon cancer (Stage 0 & Stage I), surgery is the treatment of choice. These are the stages wherein cancer is confined locally and has affected a small portion of the colon only. The procedure may range from polypectmy to partial colectomy. Polypectomy is the surgical removal of a polyp in the colon and it is even possibly done during colonoscopy as long as the tumor (polyp) is small enough. On the other hand, partial colectomy is the resection of the affected portion of the colon and adjacent lymph nodes. The two procedures discussed do not require any other additional treatment like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The surgery alone can successfully eradicate the disease with a good prognosis as long as the malignant tissues were completely removed.
Regarding Phase II colon cancer treatments, surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy is recommended by doctors in most cases. At this stage, where cancer has penetrated the wall of the colon and affected adjacent tissue but has not yet infected the lymph nodes, or spread (metastases). At this point, an operation is generally required to removed the tumor tissues and lymph nodes. chemotherapy can also be performed, according to the presence of certain circumstances caused by cancer such as:
1. Perforation, or the presence of a hole or holes in the wall of the colon;
2. The presence of a high degree of malignancy;
3. No more than 12 lymph nodes removed surgically;
4. In the case of malignant cells that were removed from the colon show activity micro satellite instability (MSI);
5. Adjacent organs also infected by cancer.
6. The obstruction of the large intestine.
For stage III colon cancer, the malignancy typically involves the colon, nearby tissues and lymph nodes but not the distant parts of the body. The standard treatment recommended for this stage is partial colectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy as well as possible radiation therapy as the case requires. However, the surgical treatment can only be indicated for patients whose general health status can still tolerate the procedure. Otherwise, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are more likely the treatment of choice.
In the stage of colon cancer known as phase IV, operation is typically is the least favored option. Usually the best option in radiation therapy and chemotherapy. At this point, the malignancy is generally spread from the colon and lymphatic nodes and has distributed itself among other organs of the body. For cancer can often be detected in the lungs, liver, organs of the organs and peritoneum and the ovaries. Chemotherapy administered intravenous drugs or by mouth. These drugs are intended to destroy cancer cells. Metastases of other organs, malignant cells, not colon cancer tissue if heavy together with the operation. But if sufficiently large, chemotherapy drugs to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery. On the other hand, ionizing radiation and radiation therapy also be taken to reduce this tumor. But most often the procedures are performed in the interest of the comfort of the patent and does alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer, but certainly. Unfortunately, there is a very poor prognosis at this stage of cancer.
Overall, there are several options for colon cancer treatment. However, the best time to undergo such any of the treatment is during the earlier stage of the disease. It is significant that any individual risk for colon cancer undergoes certain diagnostic exams regularly for early detection because definitely cancer has a treatment and a good prognosis is possible.