Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to control
cancer's growth or relieve symptoms. The medicines may be given through a needle
in your vein, as pills you can swallow, or as a shot (injection).
For colorectal cancer that has spread to
the liver, researchers are studying hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy. This
delivers medicines directly to the liver.
Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer
Understanding Colorectal Cancer -- The Basics
Inside your abdominal cavity is the long, tubular digestive tract. The second part of this tube -- the large intestine -- is composed of the colon, which stretches 4 feet to 6 feet, and the rectum, which is only 4 inches to 6 inches long.
The inner lining of this "colorectal tube" can be a fertile breeding ground for small tumors, called polyps (Figure 1). About a quarter of all adults in the U.S. older than age 50 will have at least one colorectal polyp. Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps...
Read the Understanding Colorectal Cancer -- The Basics article > >
Several medicines are used to
metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer. Other medicines are
also available to treat side effects, such as nausea.
The most commonly used medicines for the treatment of
colorectal cancer are:
Cancer medicines are often used in combination. For example,
a treatment called FOLFOX4 uses oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and fluorouracil,
while the treatment called FOLFIRI uses folic acid, fluorouracil, and
irinotecan. There are several of these specific combinations. Cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab ( Vectibix) may be
used for colorectal cancer that has spread and has not improved during or
after treatment with other drugs. These kinds of medicines, called
monoclonal antibodies, may not work for some people.
So before you have this treatment, your tumor tissue will be checked for
certain gene changes (mutations).
Your doctor may prescribe
medicines to control nausea and vomiting. These medicines
include: Clinical trials that test new drugs are ongoing. Talk
with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. What To Think About
Medicines may not cure metastatic or
recurrent colorectal cancer. But they can help you feel better and live longer
by slowing the cancer's growth.
Talk to your doctor about medicines to
manage pain and other symptoms that may accompany
cancer. For more information, see the topic