Colorectal cancer refers to the growth of cancer cells or polyps in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, with more than 140,000 new cases expected in 2012. The number of deaths from colorectal cancer has decreased in recent years due to increased screenings for the disease through colonoscopy and to polypectomy procedures that remove polyps early in the development of the disease.
There are several kinds of colorectal cancer treatment available to patients. Colorectal cancer surgery is often the primary treatment for this condition. In a surgical resection, surgeons remove the cancerous section as well as a length of healthy tissue on either side of the malignancy, and then reconnect the parts.
Radiation therapy is another form of colorectal cancer treatment. Radiation may involve external radiation delivered by a machine directed at the area of concern, or internal radiation in which substances that produce radiation are placed in or adjacent to the tumor or injected into the bloodstream.
Chemotherapy and targeted therapy medications may also be used for some patients as part of colorectal cancer treatment to increase the chances of cure or, in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, to slow cancer growth and to relieve symptoms.
When choosing a provider for colorectal cancer treatment, patients and their families will find world-class care and compassionate support at The Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston.
As one of the world's leading institutions for cancer treatment and research, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center offers expert care for colorectal cancer in the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology. Along with the latest therapies and technology, the Center provides a wide range of resources to help patients and their families cope with the challenge of fighting cancer.
A team of specialists works with each patient individually to evaluate their cancer and form a treatment plan based on the extent of the disease, the age of the patient and their tolerance for different cancer treatment options. In addition to colon cancer surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the Center provides counseling, physical therapy, pain management, integrative therapies like massage and Reiki, and an educational center with the latest information about cancer.
The Center's physician-scientists are continually involved in clinical trials to improve understanding of gastrointestinal cancers and to develop new, more effective treatments. Patients at the Center may be eligible to participate in certain trials where new therapies are being evaluated.
Click here to find out more about treatment for other gastrointestinal cancers and screening procedures such as gastrointestinal endoscopy that may help identify the presence of cancer in the body.
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