The news of being diagnosed with any cancer can be devastating, but there is great hope. Colon and rectal cancer is the third most common cancer, and it affects many Americans meaning you are not alone. Some good news is that several medical approaches can be put in place to help you manage the condition depending on the stage and severity of the condition. The Astoria colon and rectal cancer specialists at Surgical Specialists of NY recommend early screening for cancer as the earlier it is caught; the more effective the treatment will be. You might benefit from the following treatment options.
Surgery for Early-Stage Cancer
Surgery is a suitable treatment option to manage colorectal surgery in its early stage. The typical procedure you need will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. Therefore, get screened and carefully discuss your cancer options with your doctor to understand what you can expect for your treatment. Some of the common procedures for colorectal surgery include colectomy, implantation of a colostomy bag, and polypectomy or local excision. Local transanal resection can also be recommended for rectal cancer.
Consider Embolization or Ablation
If your cancer has spread in other parts of your body other than the colon and rectum, you might benefit from ablation or embolization. These non-surgical techniques can kill the small tumors, – less than 4 centimeters – without surgically removing them. For ablation, targeted radio waves or microwaves will be used to destroy the tumors. An ultrasound or a CT scanner-driven probe will be directly inserted into the tumors to deliver the waves.
If the tumors are too large to be treated by ablation, your surgeon may recommend embolization which involves blocking blood flow to tumors in order to kill them. Your provider will inject a substance into your blood vessels to do the blocking.
Radiation Therapy Combined with Surgery
While radiation can manage rectal cancer, it is not often recommended for colon cancer; surgery is typically preferred. But it can be used together with surgery to manage colorectal cancer effectively. Therefore, discuss with your doctor about the option to learn what you can expect and see if you can benefit. Some of the common radiation therapy forms include external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy.
Consider Systemic Chemotherapy
This involves taking medications to shrink tumors or kill the cancer cells to prevent their spread. This option can be used alongside other treatment techniques such as surgery in order to eliminate the cancerous cells. Some of the common drugs for this option include:
· 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)
· Trifluridine and Tipiracil combination
Note that most chemotherapies are more effective when used in a combination of two or more.
Look into Regional Chemotherapy
Your cancer cells can be treated directly through chemotherapy. The typical chemo treatment involves directly injecting some particular drugs into the blood supply to the tumor, managing your condition with fewer side effects than other chemotherapies. It is mainly recommended for colorectal cancers that have spread to the lungs or do not respond to whole-body treatments. The regional chemo treatment typically includes an injection of 2 drugs into the arteries delivering blood to the tumor.
Reach out to the Surgical Specialists of NY providers to learn which treatment option is more effective for you. Your provider will help you understand the available options and help you know their side effects and what you can expect.