Bowel Cancer Treatment
After a diagnosis of bowel cancer has been made, scans are carried out to determine how far the cancer has spread within the bowel and if it has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver and the lungs. At this point the specialists including the surgeons, radiologist, histopathologist and oncologist will meet as a team and review the case and results of the investigations to decide on the most appropriate management of the cancer.
The most appropriate treatment for bowel cancer is dependent on the TNM (tumour, node, metastasis) stage of the cancer:
1. How deep is the cancer within the bowel and whether it has spread to the surrounding tissues?
2. Has the cancer spread to the lymph nodes?
3. Has the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs and liver?
The main treatment for bowel cancer is surgery, which usually involves removal of the affected part of the bowel and the surrounding lymph nodes. However, surgery alone is not always successful in curing bowel cancer and often chemotherapy or radiotherapy is given before or after surgery, either to shrink the cancer prior to removal or to reduce the risk of the cancer returning later on.
If the cancer is diagnosed in its early stages as a very small lump, surgical excision alone can also be an effective treatment.
Some of the specialised surgery offered at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic to treat bowel cancer can include the following proecdures:
- Right Hemicolectomy
- Extended Right Hemicolectomy
- Left Hemicolectomy
- Sigmoid Colectomy
- Anterior Resection
- Hartmann's Procedure
- Abdomino-Perineal Excision of the Rectum
For more details visit Cancerhelp, part of Cancer Research UK.
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Dr Manji. January 2010