Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage
One of the factors affecting treatment decisions regarding rectal cancer is the stage (or extent) of the disease. For instance, what may be effective treatment for stage 0 rectal cancer may not be the best approach for treating later stages of the disease. The following article breaks down rectal cancer treatment by stage, from stage 0 through stage IV and recurrent cancer.
There are different types of rectal cancer treatment, including:
- Surgery (see Rectal Cancer Surgery)
- Chemotherapy (see Rectal Cancer Chemotherapy)
- Radiation therapy (see Rectal Cancer Radiation).
The rectal cancer treatment a doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The stage of the cancer (see Rectal Cancer Stages)
- Whether the rectal cancer has recurred
- The patient's general health.
Treatment of stage 0 rectal cancer (carcinoma in situ) may include the following types of surgery:
- Local excision or simple polypectomy
- Resection/anastomosis (performed when the cancerous tissue is too large to remove by local excision).
Additional treatment may include internal or external radiation therapy.
Treatment of stage I rectal cancer may include the following:
- Surgery to remove the tumor, with or without anastomosis (joining the cut ends of the rectum)
- Surgery to remove the tumor, with or without radiation therapy and chemotherapy
- Internal or external radiation therapy.