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Can Surgery Treat Colorectal Cancer?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Anand Narayan 92% (85 ratings)
MD - Oncology
Oncologist, Coimbatore  •  9 years experience
Can Surgery Treat Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is one of the rarer forms of cancers which can be treated by a combination of surgery, medication, radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment plan is decided by the doctor keeping in mind the stage of cancer.

Here is a list of surgical procedures that are done by oncologists in order to counter colorectal cancer.

  1. Removing the polyps: This procedure is often carried out when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. To qualify for this procedure, cancer must not spread to other parts of the body other than a polyp. A doctor performs a colonoscopy in order to remove the polyp.
  2. Endoscopic mucosal resection: If cancer has attacked one of the larger polyps, the doctor takes out a part of the colon to ensure that cancer does not spread. This procedure is known as endoscopic mucosal resection.
  3. Minimally invasive surgery: If the polyps are too large for a colonoscopy, an oncologist might go for a laparoscopic surgery. This is a procedure wherein many incisions are made along the wall of the abdomen, with cameras, to give the surgeon a good view of cancer. The surgeon then takes out a sample from the lymph node for further investigation.
  4. Partial colectomy: This is a procedure wherein the surgeon removes a part of the colon containing cancer. Apart from this, some normal tissues are extracted from either side. The surgeon then reconnects the healthy portion of the rectum and the colon in order to avoid any complication.
  5. Colostomy: In case a surgeon fails to reconnect to the healthy portion of the rectum and the colon, he/she often goes for a procedure known as a temporary or permanent colostomy. This is a procedure in which a small passage is created for the waste to get eliminated from the body.
  6. Chemotherapy: For cancers which have advanced to a higher stage, chemotherapy is tried by most doctors. The idea is to shrink the size of cancer before it can be operated. Depending on the severity of cancer, the dosage is decided.
  7. Radiation therapy: As the name suggests, this is a process wherein powerful radiation sources are used to kill the cancer cells. They can shrink the size of cancer affected area. Radiation, however, is hardly used for stage 1 cancers.

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