Digestive + Colon
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with colon cancer, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common types of cancer. And if it’s caught early, it’s also one of the most treatable. .
One of the first steps to fighting colon cancer is to arm yourself with knowledge and learn as much as you can about the disease and how it’s treated.
Colon cancer (or colorectal cancer) occurs when cancerous growths (or polyps) form in or around your colon. However, not all polyps are cancerous. There can be a variety of symptoms depending on where it develops – from blood in your stool to weight loss to abdominal pain. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all.
Treatment for colon cancer
Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on a number of factors, such as which part of the colon is affected and the stage the disease. Colon cancer treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Radiation therapy
- Newer targeted therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies.
If surgery is part of your treatment plan, you should learn as much as you can about the procedure. With years of research and advances in technology, there are now different options for how the procedures are performed. There is a traditional “open” procedure (which requires a large incision) as well as a minimally invasive approach (with small incisions) that is equally effective. Minimally invasive colon surgery typically results in a shorter hospital stay26, 28 and faster recovery with less use of pain relieving medication28 and smaller scars.