Colon cancer treatment and recovery

Your colorectal oncology team will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your type of cancer.

Surgical treatments

Surgery is the most common treatment for all stages of colon cancer. Your doctor will know the right procedure for your case:

  • Local excision or polypectomy. You doctor may remove the tumor without cutting through the abdominal wall.
  • Resection of the colon with anastomosis. Your surgeon removes part of the colon containing the cancer and nearby healthy tissue, and then joins the cut ends of the colon.
  • Resection of the colon with colostomy. Your surgeon removes part of the colon containing the cancer and nearby healthy tissue, creates a stoma, and a colostomy bag is attached to the stoma.

Nonsurgical treatments

  • Radiofrequency ablation. A special probe with tiny electrodes that kill cancer cells.
  • Cryosurgery. An instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tissue.
  • Chemotherapy. Drugs that destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. We often use more than one drug at a time for maximum results.
  • Targeted therapy or novel therapy. Drugs that target the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. In recent years, targeted therapy has proven to be increasingly successful at controlling certain cancers and improving a prognosis.
  • Immunotherapy or biologic therapy. Uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function.
  • Other drug therapy. We may give steroids alone or at the same time as targeted therapy or chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy. High-energy X-rays or other particles that destroy cancer cells.

Colon cancer: learn more