Treatment of Colon Cancer

What Are My Colon Cancer Treatment Options?
Colon cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies. Doctors may use only one or some combination of these treatments.

If your cancer is in the earliest stages, surgery may be the only treatment you need. If your cancer is more advanced, you may need surgery plus chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. A clinical trial may be a treatment option as well.


Treatment of Stage I Colon Cancer
Treatment of Stage I colon cancer is usually resection/anastomosis (removal of colon cancer by joining the cut ends of the colon) because the cancerous tissue is usually too large at this stage to be removed by local excision.


Treatment of Stage II Colon Cancer
Treatment of Stage II colon cancer may include the following:

  • Resection/anastomosis
  • Clinical trials of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or biological therapy after surgery


Treatment of Stage III Colon Cancer
Treatment of Stage III colon cancer may include the following:

  • Resection/anastomosis with or without chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or biological therapy after surgery


Treatment of Stage IV Colon Cancer
Treatment of Stage IV colon cancer may include the following:

  • Resection/anastomosis
  • Surgery to remove parts of other organs such as the liver, lungs and ovaries where the cancer may have spread
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical trials of chemotherapy or biological therapy
  • Radiation therapy may be offered to some patients as palliative therapy (to relieve symptoms)


Treatment of Recurrent Colon Cancer or Cancerous Cells

Treatment of recurrent colon cancer depends on where the cancer has recurred (come back) and the general health of the patient.

Treatment for recurrent colon cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove cancer that may have spread to the liver, lungs or ovaries
  • Surgery to remove cancer cells that have recurred in the colon
  • Radiation therapy as palliative therapy
  • Chemotherapy as palliative therapy
  • Clinical trials of biological therapy or chemotherapy