Your team of specialists in medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, radiology and pathology will work together to assess your best course of colorectal cancer treatment. That will involve the creation of a coordinated plan, staging the disease and designing a personalized treatment plan consistent with the highest standards of care. Your treatment will be tailored to your specific type of gastric cancer, and it may involve a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Colorectal Cancer Surgery
WellStar offers some of the best colorectal physicians, known as gastroenterologists, in the nation and some of the best colorectal cancer surgeons. Often a colectomy, a surgical procedure to remove all or part of the colon, is used.
There are various types of colectomy operations, including:
- Total Colectomy involves removing the entire colon
- Partial Colectomy involves removing part of the colon
- Hemicolectomy involves removing the right or left portion of the colon.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs given by mouth or injection to destroy cancer cells. It can be used to assist in the cure of cancer patients or to prolong life or the quality of life.
- Neo-adjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy is given prior to surgery in order to shrink the tumor so that the surgeon can completely remove it with fewer complications. Chemotherapy is also given with radiation, as it makes the radiation more effective.
- Adjuvant (after surgery) chemotherapy is administered in certain circumstances when the patient is at high risk for recurrence.
Medical oncologists at WellStar believe in a personalized approach to colorectal cancer therapy – often guided by the genetics of the cancer and the condition of the patient.
At WellStar, radiation is administered by radiation oncologists in coordination with medical oncologists and surgeons. And several innovative radiation therapies are offered, including two found to be extremely effective against difficult cases of colorectal cancer:
- External-beam radiation therapy: In this treatment, radiation is focused on the cancer from outside the body. This is the type most often used for people with colon or rectal cancer.
- Brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy): In this method, small pellets or seeds of radioactive material are placed next to or right into the cancer. The radiation travels only a short distance, limiting the effects on nearby healthy tissues. This method is sometimes used in treating people with rectal cancer, particularly sick or older people who would not be able to go through surgery.