Los Angeles Colon Cancer Treatment
The disease known as colorectal cancer involves the growth of tumors in the colon or the rectum. These tumors are easiest to remove when they are at a very early stage, ideally before they become cancerous, when they are known as polyps. These polyps can be removed quickly and easily during a colonoscopy procedure, which does not require the use of anaesthetic, though a sedative will normally be offered.

Survival rates for colorectal cancer are quite good, with approximately two thirds of cases being cured, mainly due to screening and early detection. However, once the cancer has begun to spread to other parts of the body (metastasis), then the prognosis is poor. This is why screening is so important, and is now offered to all patients considered to be in a high risk category for colorectal cancer.

Various Forms Of Colon and Rectal Cancer Treatment - First Determine How Advanced the Cancer is
The treatment that will be offered depends on how advanced the cancer is. If it is found while still at an early stage, then an operation to remove the tumor is usually very effective and can be curative. In addition to surgery, chemotherapy may also be used, to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed. Radiation therapy is often used either before or after an operation to supplement surgical treatment. This adjuvant therapy is particularly important if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Lymph node disease is often better treated with chemoradiation rather than surgery. We highly recommend you see your Los Angeles colorectal surgeon to learn more.

Treatment of Colon Cancer: Surgery, Chemotherapy, & Palliative Measures
If the colorectal tumors are too large to be removed during a colonoscopy procedure, then surgery will be required. Depending on the location and the size of the tumor, different approaches may be used. For relatively small tumors, the affected area and a clear margin of non-cancerous cells will be surgically removed, sometimes in addition to the lymph nodes nearest to the tumor. The clear margin and the removal of lymph nodes increase the likelihood that all of the tumor cells will have been removed. It is also important to take the lymph nodes, as these will be one of the first regions affected if the cancer spreads.

If the cancer is more advanced, then the treatment is designed to be palliative, and reduce the symptoms as much as possible. This is an attempt to improve the quality of life even when the cancer cannot be cured. Surgery and chemotherapy may both be used during palliative treatment, along with radiotherapy and various pain medications.

Colectomy – A Last Resort But A Necessary Procedure
More extensive cancerous regions will require a type of surgery known as a colectomy. This involves the removal of a section of the bowel, and then the remaining ends will be joined back together. Again, the lymph nodes nearest to the tumor will be removed in order to reduce the risk of recurrence and metastasis (which is the term for when the cancer spreads to other parts of the body).

Los Angeles Surgery for colorectal cancer treatment will often be combined with other types of treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. They are sometimes referred to as cytotoxic drugs, and work by disrupting the growth of cells. This means that other growing cells can also be affected, so you might lose some hair or become anaemic, for example. Chemotherapy can be used either before or after surgery. This form of treatment is useful if it is thought that the cancer has spread, because the drugs are in the bloodstream and can reach all parts of the body. Chemotherapy before surgery is intended to shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove, while chemotherapy after surgery is intended to prevent a recurrence.

Radiotherapy may also be used to treat colorectal cancer. This treatment uses high-energy gamma rays to kill the cancer cells. It is not normally used in colon cancer, but can be useful if the tumor was located in the rectum. It will normally be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, as the drugs lead to the cells becoming more sensitive to the radiation. Like with chemotherapy, this treatment can be carried out before or after surgery.

A combination of treatments will usually be necessary for colorectal cancer. The earlier that the tumors are identified, the more successful the treatment is likely to be. This is why screening programmes for high-risk groups of people are so important – they can prevent a considerable number of cases of colorectal cancer.

See Your Los Angeles Surgeon For More Information About Colon & Rectal Cancer
Your Los Angeles colorectal surgeon will provide you with sufficient information to make an informed decision about the future of your treatment. Although there are many possible treatments for each condition, the first step has to be booking the initial appointment, which will put you on the path to eliminating your symptoms.

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