Colon Cancer Treatment

At Siteman, our Washington University Physicians use a variety of methods to treat colon cancer at every stage.  Our multidisciplinary approach, which harnesses the expertise of physicians from many specialties, and our relentless pursuit of new solutions through laboratory research and clinical trials help our patients to achieve positive outcomes.

How is colon cancer treated?

For patients with colon cancer, the first line of treatment is usually to remove the tumor, or tumors, from the colon. Depending on the stage of the cancer, some patients will also receive systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

What surgeries are done for colon cancer?

There are several ways that colon cancer can be removed from the body. Sometimes, if the tumor is very small, it can be taken out during a colonoscopy. If the tumor has affected a larger area of the colon, however, surgeons will usually perform a procedure called a colectomy, a removal of a section of the colon itself.

Physicians at Siteman were the first in the area to perform laparoscopic colectomy for cancer. If your cancer is confined to the colon, your surgery will be less invasive and your recovery time shorter.

Read more about colon cancer surgery.

What are systemic therapies for colon cancer?

Systemic therapies are medicines that kill cancer cells, both at the primary tumor site and wherever else they might have spread. They can be infused into the body through an IV, given as injections, or consumed as pills. Systemic therapies for colon cancer include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

Learn about systemic therapies for colon cancer.

Is radiation therapy used for colon cancer?

Most patients with colon cancer will not be treated with radiation therapy. This form of treatment is more commonly used for rectal cancer.

Learn more about radiation therapy for rectal cancer.