Colon Cancer Treatment

At Siteman, Washington University Physicians use a variety of methods to treat colon cancer at every stage.  Our multidisciplinary specialists come from a wide range of disciplines, meaning that your tumor will be attacked from all angles. Through our relentless pursuit of new treatments through lab research and clinical trials, we give our patients the best possible chances for a positive outcome.

Treatment for colon cancer

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.

Surgery for colon cancer

There are several ways to remove colon cancer from the body. Sometimes, if the tumor is very small, a doctor can remove it during a colonoscopy. If the tumor has affected a larger area of the colon, however, surgeons will usually perform a procedure called a colectomy. This involves removing a section of the colon itself.

Physicians at Siteman were the first in the area to perform laparoscopic colectomy for cancer. If your cancer hasn’t spread outside the colon, your surgery will be less invasive and your recovery time shorter.

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. You may receive these medicines through an IV or as pills. Systemic therapies for colon cancer include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Radiation therapy for rectal cancer

Radiation therapy is a more common treatment for rectal cancer. Most patients with colon cancer will not be treated with radiation therapy.