Colon Cancer Chemotherapy
cancer chemotherapy is a form of treatment in which powerful drugs are used to kill cancer cells which have
developed in the colon or have spread to other parts of the body.
This type of treatment will be discussed further as well as some expected benefits and side effects which may
chemotherapy is used to bring special drugs into the body which are designed to recognize rapidly growing cells,
attack and kill them. Since cancer cells grow much faster than
normal cells, this can be a very effective way to help to slow the progression or even cure the
these drugs also tend to affect other fast growing cells which are healthy, it can also cause unwanted side
effects. Since fast growing cells can include hair cells and cells
lining the stomach, the use of this course of treatment can cause a person’s hair to fall out as well as nausea
chemotherapy can be used in different ways depending on the stage of the disease and other
factors. For example primary chemotherapy can be used when the
colon cancer has advanced to the point where surgery would not be effective in removing all traces of the
cancer. So chemotherapy would be used to reduce the size of the
cancerous area, help to alleviate symptoms and extend the life of the patient as long as
chemotherapy is used as an additional treatment option following surgery. It can be helpful in eliminating any remaining cancer cells which the surgery
was unable to reach and remove. It can help to prevent a
reoccurrence of cancer in that part of the body.
neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be used to help shrink the cancerous tumor before surgery. This would help to make the surgical procedure less invasive and more
successful in the long run. This type of treatment may also be
given in conjunction with radiation therapy since it tends to make the radiation treatment more effective in
colon cancer patients.
There are a number of drugs which have been found to be of benefit in treating colon cancer through chemotherapy.
They may include the following:
5-Fluorouacil is the commonly used
of all drugs for the treatment of colon cancer. This drug may be used for colon cancer which is
localized as well as cancer which has spread to other organs. It has also been used in conjunction with
other drugs and can be delivered to the body either orally or intravenously.
A number of other drugs like
Camptosar, Eloxatin, Vastin, Erbitus, and Vectibix have had good success in treating forms of colon
cancer which has spread. It is not necessarily a cure but can greatly slow the progression of the
disease and provide a much better quality of life.
In addition to
some of the side effects associated with colon cancer chemotherapy, problems including a loss of appetite, sores
in the mouth, rashes on the hands and feet and diarrhea can often occur during treatment. As indicated earlier
these side effects tend to go away once treatment has stopped.
External Reading: cancereffects.com