Treatments for colorectal cancer
If you have colorectal cancer, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for colorectal cancer, your healthcare team will consider:
- the location of the tumour or where the cancer has come back (recurred)
- the stage of the cancer
- your general health
- what you prefer or want
Expert review and references
American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer. 2018: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Colorectal Cancer. 2017: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/view-all.
Libutti SK, Saltz LB, Willett CG, Levine RA . Cancer of the colon. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 57: 768 - 812.
Libutti SK, Willett CG, Saltz LB, Levine RA . Cancer of the rectum. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 60: 823 - 841.
National Cancer Institute. Colon Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2018: https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/hp/colon-treatment-pdq#section/all.
National Cancer Institute. Rectal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2018: https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/hp/rectal-treatment-pdq#section/all.
Wilkes GM . Colon, rectal, and anal cancers. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B, (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2018: 51: 1423 - 1485.
Treatments for colon cancer
Learn about treatment options for colon cancer. Surgery and chemotherapy are the most common treatments for colon cancer.
Treatments for rectal cancer
Learn about treatment options for rectal cancer. Radiation, chemoradiation and surgery are the most common treatments for rectal cancer.
Surgery for colorectal cancer
Surgery is used to treat colorectal cancer. Learn about local excision, bowel resection, and colostomy or ileostomy surgery.
Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer
Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat colorectal cancer. Learn how and when chemotherapy is used and which chemotherapy drugs and combinations are used.
Radiation therapy for colorectal cancer
Radiation therapy is most often used to treat rectal cancer. Learn about external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy.
Targeted therapy for colorectal cancer
Targeted therapy is used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. Learn about types of targeted therapy drugs used to treat colorectal cancer.
Immunotherapy for colorectal cancer
Metastatic colorectal cancer is sometimes treated with immunotherapy. It helps strengthen the immune system to fight cancer.
Follow-up after treatment for colorectal cancer
Follow-up after colorectal cancer treatment varies. Learn about scheduled follow-up appointments and the tests and procedures that may be done.