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Colon cancer is a slow growing cancer that starts as a noncancerous polyp in the lining of the colon, or large intestine. Colon cancer is classified by stages, which describe the how far the disease has spread in the body. Doctors at Dignity Health North State will determine your specialized treatment plan based on the stage of your cancer. Schedule an appointment to discuss your options for colon cancer treatment in Northern California using our online Find a Doctor tool.
The primary goals of treating colon cancer are to cure the disease and relieve symptoms. Any of the following treatments are used to treat colon cancer.
The main treatment for all stages of colon cancer is surgery. The extent of your surgery will depend on the stage of your disease.
Chemotherapy drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells or kill them completely. Doctors can use chemotherapy before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery kill any remaining cancer. Chemotherapy can prolong life and help relieve symptoms in people who can’t have surgery or in people with late-stage colon cancer.
Like chemotherapy, radiation treatments are used before surgery to shrink a tumor, or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Doctors may also use radiation for people who can’t have surgery, to shrink tumors that have spread to other parts of the body, or to relieve symptoms in advanced-stage colon cancer.
Targeted therapies are medicines use specific markers present only on cancer cells to identify and kill the cancer. Doctors often combine chemotherapy with targeted therapy for advanced colon cancer when chemotherapy alone doesn’t work. Before targeted therapy can be used, doctors must test tumor tissue for the appropriate markers.
Doctors at Dignity Health North State will design a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. Factors considered include the stage of your cancer, your overall health, and the likelihood your body will respond to treatment. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of each of your options, including side effects. Together, you can decide which treatment plan is best for you.