Colorectal Cancer Treatment Modalities :

       Colorectal cancer is a combined term used to describe malignancies or tumors that develop in the colon, appendix and rectum. Also called as large bowel cancers or cancers related to the large intestine, colorectal cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

      Colorectal cancers often go undetected until they reach an advanced stage. However, there are various treatment options available for treating colorectal cancers. These include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Treatment of colorectal cancers is dependant on the stage of the cancer and the extent of the area to which it has spread.

      Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancers. Some of the common surgical procedures include partial colectomy, temporary colostomy, laproscopic surgery, polypectomy and electrofulgeration. While a part of colon is removed in colectomy, polyps are cut out in case of polypectomy. Temporary colostomy includes making an opening for the purpose of waste disposal from the bowel. Cancer cells are burnt using electric current in case of electrofulgeration.  

       Another important therapy for treating colorectal cancers is radiation therapy, where high energy radiation is used to destroy cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapies. While radiation is administered externally in external beam radiation therapy, low energy radiation is administered locally through brachytherapy. However, there are certain side effects due to radiation therapy, which include mild skin irritation, nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea and fatigue.

      Another major treatment option is chemotherapy. In this method of treatment, chemical substances or drugs are administered for the purpose of annihilating malignant cells. These drugs are administered either intravenously or through oral route.

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