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What are the Treatment Options for Colorectal Cancer?

Oncologists select the best treatment for colorectal cancer, depending on two factors. One, they monitor your overall health to determine your capability to withstand the various treatment options available. Secondly, they also consider the disease stage- is the disease starting,or has it advanced?

Your physician knows which treatment option is best for you, here are some of the available treatment options for colorectal cancer:

Chemotherapy – It is administered after surgery. The treatment aims to kill any remaining cancer cells and to control the growth of tumors. However, the treatment has some side effects, which your oncologist will talk to you about them. Some of the drugs used for chemotherapy include oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), capecitabine (Xeloda), irinotecan (Camptosar), and fluorouracil.

Surgery –The treatment is useful if the cancer is in its initial stages. Colorectal cancer occurs when polyps form in the abdominal lining, and then they become cancerous. As long as the polyps are not attached to the wall of your bowel, a surgeon can remove them without touching the colon. However, if the polyps are connected to the bowel wall, the surgeon has to cut a portion of the rectum or colon and the surrounding lymph nodes. After the procedure, the physician will reattach the healthy colon or rectum. In some cases, the surgeon makes an incision on the walls of the abdomen colostomy for waste removal.

Radiation – It is used before and after the surgery. Physicians use the treatment to destroy cancer cells by beaming a ray of light similar to how x-rays work. In most cases, radiation is used alongside chemotherapy.

Additional approved medication

FDA ( food and Drug Administration) has approved the following drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer. The drugs treat metastatic or advanced stage colorectal cancer that has spread to other areas and does not respond to other treatments.

  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)
  • Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap)
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • panitumumab (Vectibix)
  • nivolumab (Opdivo
  • ramucirumab (Cyramza)
  • cetuximab (Erbitux)
  • regorafenib (Stivarga)

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