Colorectal Cancer: Treatment Process for Colorectal Cancer

By Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan in Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Care , Rectal Cancer

Apr 24 , 2023 | 2 min read

According to Global Cancer Statistics 2018, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide in humans. And the most alarming fact is the high rate of occurrence of this cancer among young adults.

Colorectal cancer is a collective category that includes cases of colon or rectum cancer or both. Depending on where it starts, this cancer is termed colon cancer or rectal cancer. This is also known as bowel cancer. The cancerous growth, tumor, or lump that grows inside the colon and/or rectum can be benign or malignant. Some of the common symptoms of colorectal cancer are alteration in normal bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, rectal bleeding, black or bloody stool, blood from the rectum, iron deficiency, persistent abdominal discomforts, and unexplained weight loss.

In spite of the high rate of occurrence, the death rate from colorectal cancer has reduced for over 20 years with the onset of improved screening techniques and advancement in treatment procedures.

Cutting-edge screening technique can detect polyps before they become cancerous and also helps in the early detection of colon cancer when the chances of a cure are much higher. Some of the most common screening and diagnostic procedures for colorectal cancer are fecal occult blood test, stool DNA test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, Barium enema X-ray, colonoscopy, CT colonography, and imaging scans.

Varieties of colorectal cancer treatment procedures are practiced including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological therapy, and surgery. The treatment procedure for colorectal cancer depends on several factors, such as

  • Size, location, and stage of the cancer
  • Whether or not it is recurrent,
  • Overall health condition of the patient

Surgery is the only procedure that can cure colorectal cancer. All other treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can only reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer after surgery, but cannot cure. The surgical treatment procedures are of various types including Bowel Diversion Surgeries, Radiofrequency Ablations, Cryosurgery, Polypectomy, and Colectomy. Mainly three types of surgeries are practiced depending on the stage of colorectal cancer, such as Colonoscopy, Laparoscopy, and open surgery.

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Laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is a modern surgical technique, which has a number of advantages compared to the general open surgical procedure. The advantages are the reduced amount of pain due to smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, and faster recovery.

Conventional open rectal cancer surgery is difficult as the rectum remains hidden deep in the pelvis. Therefore, robotic or laparoscopic surgery is a better option for rectal cancer for better quality vision to the surgeon. Laparoscopic surgery in rectal cancer can provide superior results to a rectal cancer patient. In laparoscopic surgery, the trauma is comparatively less, which makes the treatment more acceptable to the patient. Computer-assisted robotic surgery for rectal cancer allows surgeons to conduct the surgeries more precisely. Robotic surgery makes it possible to preserve the anus in more number of patients.

Nanavati Max Hospital in Mumbai is one of the top hospitals in India offering advanced screening techniques and treatments to people to fight back cancer and have a better life ahead.

Reviewed By

Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan (Director - Hepato-Pancreatic-Biliary Surgery & Gastrointestinal Oncology)

Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan is the Director - Hepato-Pancreatic-Biliary Surgery & Gastrointestinal Oncology and one of the finest Oncosurgeons in India. With an experience of over 22 years, he specializes in surgeries for cancers of the liver, bile duct, and gall bladder, pancreatic resections for pancreatic cancer, colorectal, stomach, oesophageal, and intestinal cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, abdominal sarcomas, retroperitoneal tumors, vascular resections and reconstructions in HPB tumors.