Colon cancer Surgery
Colon cancer surgery is often recommended to treat both early and advanced colon cancer. The type and extent of the surgical technique will vary. Extent of surgery may range from removing a small tumor on the wall of the colon to removing portions of the colon and regional lymph nodes.
Surgical options include the following:
This type of colon cancer surgery may be used to treat early stage. It involves removing the cancer without having to remove a part of the colon. The procedure is often performed using laparoscopic surgery.During colon cancer surgery, a surgeon will make small cuts or incisions on the skin of the abdomen. Using special instruments with a small camera attached, the surgeon inserts the camera through the small cuts to view the colon and remove the tumor. The surgeon may also remove some lymph nodes near the tumor to see if cancer cells are present.
A procedure known as a colectomy may be used to remove some or all of the colon, depending on the extent of the cancer. If part of your colon needs to be removed, the surgeon will cut out the cancerous section. They will also remove a little healthy tissue on both sides of the tumor. The surgeon will then reattach the open ends of your colon. According to the American Cancer Society, one-fourth to one-third of the colon is often removed during a colectomy. The size of the tumor and location can affect how much of the colon needs to be removed. Depending on the extent of the colon cancer surgery, the procedure may be performed laparoscopically or through open surgery. Open colon cancer surgery involves making a larger cut in the abdomen.
In some instances, the two sections of the colon cannot be reattached after the cancer is removed. If this is the case, a colostomy will usually be performed. A colostomy involves creating an opening called a stoma in the abdominal skin and connecting the top part of the colon. Colostomies are often only temporary to give the colon time to heal. In some cases, the procedure can be reversed.In addition to your cancer stage, other factors may play a role in what type of surgical procedure is performed. These factors include:
- your age
- your health
- your weight
- whether the cancer has spread to other structures, organs, or lymph nodes
Chemotherapy is another common treatment for colon cancer. Chemotherapy involves taking medications designed to kill the cancer cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are multiple drugs used to treat colon cancer. Your chemotherapy regimen for colon cancer will depend on the extent or stage of your disease. The medications are usually given intravenously, but some drugs are in pill form. Chemotherapy can be used before or after to treat colon cancer surgery. Before surgery, it’s used to shrink the cancer and make surgery easier. After colon cancer surgery, it’s used to kill any remaining cancer cells and decrease the chances of your cancer coming back. In some cases, such as in advanced cancer when the disease has spread beyond the colon, chemotherapy may be the primary treatment and used only to help reduce symptoms and prolong life. In these cases, it will not likely be a curative treatment.The drugs given during chemotherapy work by killing cancer cells, but the medications don’t just attack cancer cells. The drugs also attack healthy cells. This is why side effects can occur. Common side effects include:
- hair loss
There are also medications available to help you deal with side effects and better tolerate chemotherapy. Remember that everyone will experience chemotherapy differently.