- How is colorectal cancer treated?
- Surgery for colon cancer
- Surgery for rectal cancer
- Ablation and embolization to treat colorectal cancer
- Radiation therapy for colorectal cancer
- Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer
- Targeted therapies for colorectal cancer
- Clinical trials for colorectal cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for colorectal cancer
- Treatment of colon cancer by stage
- Treatment of rectal cancer by stage
- More treatment information about colorectal cancer
How is colorectal cancer treated?
Making treatment decisions
For advanced colon and rectal cancer, ablation or embolization may also be used.
Depending on the stage of the cancer, 2 or more of these types of treatment may be combined at the same time or used after one another.
It is important to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. (See the section “What should you ask your doctor about colorectal cancer?”) In choosing a treatment plan, one of the most important factors is the stage of the cancer. Other factors to consider include your overall health, the likely side effects of the treatment, and the probability of curing the disease, extending life, or relieving symptoms.
When considering your treatment options it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion, if possible. This may provide you with more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you have chosen. It is also important to know that your chances for having the best possible outcome are highest in the hands of a medical team that is experienced in treating colorectal cancer.
The first part of this section describes the various types of treatments used for colon and rectal cancers. This is followed by a description of the most common approaches used for colon cancer and the most common approaches for rectal cancer, based on the stage of the cancer.
Last Medical Review: 10/15/2014
Last Revised: 08/13/2015