The treatments for colon or rectal cancer are different and you
will have many options to consider. Your specialist nurse or
consultant will discuss these with you. Treatments are decided upon
within the context of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) where all
members of the team managing the patient's treatment are
The bowel is divided into the small bowel (small intestine) and
the large bowel (colon and rectum). On this page we are referring
to large bowel cancer only.
For cancer that is situated in the colon, surgery is the usual
treatment. The colorectal (bowel) surgeon will discuss the type of
surgery needed. Keyhole surgery is becoming more common as more
surgeons are trained in this technique with results as favourable
as conventional surgery but with a faster recovery time. In some
instances surgery might not be possible and the patient may be
offered chemotherapy first, but this is far less common.
Often after surgery, unless the cancer is detected in the very
early stages, chemotherapy will be recommended. The oncologist,
specialising in cancer treatments and care will discuss the
treatment plan with you. Other possible treatments include
Treating cancer in the rectum usually involves treatment with a
short course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy known as
chemoradiation prior to surgery. Some patients will need a
temporary or permanent colostomy after surgery, the surgeon will
discuss the possibility of this prior to surgery.
Any further treatment needed will be discussed between the MDT
and the patient.
To find out more:
Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Biological
Therapies, Follow up after
treatment, Clinical Trials, Cancer
Drugs Fund & Value Based Pricing