treatment of colon cancer

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Treatment options of colonic carcinoma consists of

  • surgical resection of the lesion.
    • colectomy with en bloc removal of the regional lymph nodes in resectable non metastatic colon cancer (1)
    • resection of metastatic disease and colectomy (same time or separately) in metastatic tumours which are considered resectable (2)
  • chaemotherapy
    • adjuvant chaemotherapy after surgery for high-risk stage II and stage III colon cancer (2)
    • preoperative chaemotherapy for resectable metastatic disease (1)
    • palliative chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease has been shown to reduce death and progression at 12 months (1). The findings translate into a 16% absolute difference in survival and a 25% increase in progression free survival (increases in 3.7 months in median survival and 6 months in median progression free survival) in patients treated with palliative chemotherapy e.g. 5-fluorouracil alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.
  • biological agents (2,3)

The response to radiotherapy is limited by the difficulty of directing the radiation beam at the tumour without damaging surrounding structures, e.g. the bladder.


Last edited 02/2020 and last reviewed 06/2021