Colorectal Cancer,Metastatic or Recurrent - Other Treatment
Radiation therapy uses X-rays to destroy
colorectal cancer cells. It is often combined with
surgery or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be used to reduce the
cancer's size when it is blocking the colon or rectum or to relieve pain from
cancer that has spread to other organs.
Radiation treatments are
not likely to cure
metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer. But they
may ease pain and discomfort, slow the spread of the disease, and help you live
Stage 0 rectal cancer is the most superficial of all rectal lesions and is limited to the mucosa without invasion of the lamina propria. Because of its superficial nature, surgical and other procedures may be limited.
Standard treatment options:
Local excision or simple polypectomy.
Full-thickness rectal resection by the transanal or transcoccygeal route for large lesions not amenable to local excision.
Endocavitary radiation therapy.[2,3,4]
Local radiation therapy.
Sometimes colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver can be removed
by surgery. But usually other treatments are needed, such as:
Radiofrequency ablation. A small wire that emits radio waves is inserted into the
tumor. The radio waves destroy the cancer that has spread to the liver without harming healthy
Cryosurgery. This may be done in
surgery for cancer that has spread to the liver. Liquid nitrogen
is used to freeze and destroy cancer cells.
Embolization. Tumor embolization shrinks a cancer that has spread to the liver by
cutting off its blood supply.
Interstitial radiation therapy. In
this type of internal radiation therapy, radioactive material sealed in
needles, wires, seeds, or catheters is placed directly into the tumor or body
Intra-arterial hepatic chemotherapy. The surgeon implants a small pump in the belly that
delivers chemotherapy right into the tumor. The pump can be left in place as
long as needed.
People sometimes use complementary therapies along with medical treatment to help relieve symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments. Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:
Mind-body treatments like those mentioned above may help you feel better. They can make it easier to cope with cancer treatments. They also may reduce chronic low back pain, joint pain, headaches, and pain from treatments.
Before you try a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies. Complementary therapies are not meant to take the place of standard medical treatment. But they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
What to think about
Clinical trials are
studies designed to find better ways to treat people and are based on the most
up-to-date information. There are a number of clinical trials involving the
treatment for metastatic or advanced colorectal cancer. If you match the
guidelines, you may be able to enroll in one. If you are interested, ask your
doctor whether there are trials in which you can participate. The National
Cancer Institute or your local chapter of the American Cancer Society can also
help you find clinical trials.