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Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Medications

Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to stop cancer's growth or relieve symptoms. Sometimes chemotherapy may be used to shrink tumors in the liver so they can be removed with surgery.

The medicines may be given through a needle in your vein, as pills you can swallow, or as a shot (injection).

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Who is at Risk?

For the great majority of people, the major factor that increases a person's risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing age. Risk increases dramatically after age 50 years; 90% of all CRCs are diagnosed after this age. The history of CRC in a first-degree relative, especially if before the age of 55 years, roughly doubles the risk. Other risk factors are weaker than age and family history. People with inflammatory bowel disease have a much higher risk of CRC. A small percentage (<5%) of CRCs...

Read the Who is at Risk? article > >

Medicine choices

The most commonly used medicines are:

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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