Colon Cancer Treatment
Getting a Second OpinionBefore starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Many insurance companies cover a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor. You may have to gather biopsy slides, pathology reports, and the proposed colon cancer treatment plan. Usually, it is not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. In most cases, the delay in starting treatment for colon cancer will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your healthcare provider. Some people with colon cancer need treatment right away.
Types of Colon Cancer TreatmentPeople with colon cancer have various treatment options available to them. These treatment options include:
- Surgery (see Colon Cancer Surgery)
- Radiation therapy (see Radiation Treatment for Colon Cancer)
- Chemotherapy (see Colon Cancer Chemotherapy).
Many people receive more than one type of treatment for their colon cancer. The choice of treatment depends mainly on the stage of colon cancer. Some of these treatments are considered primary, where the purpose is to remove the tumor. Others are considered adjuvant therapy, which is treatment administered to kill any tumor cells that may have spread and to increase the chances for a colon cancer cure.
Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results. You might want to know how colon cancer treatment may affect your normal activities. Also, you may wish to know how you will look during and after treatment. It's important to ask all the questions that come to mind. You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that reflects your medical needs and personal values.
(Click Colon Cancer Treatment by Stage for more information on specific treatments for each stage of colon cancer.)