Rectal Cancer Treatment
Types of Rectal Cancer TreatmentPeople with rectal cancer have many treatment options available to them. These rectal cancer treatment options include:
- Surgery (see Rectal Cancer Surgery)
- Radiation therapy (see Rectal Cancer Radiation)
- Chemotherapy (see Rectal Cancer Chemotherapy).
Many people receive more than one type of rectal cancer treatment, and the choice of treatment depends mainly on the stage of rectal 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 increase the chances for a rectal cancer cure.
Your doctor can describe your rectal cancer treatment choices and the expected results. You might want to know how rectal cancer treatment may affect your normal activities. Also, you may want to know how you will look during and after rectal cancer treatment. It's important to ask all the rectal cancer questions you may have. You and your doctor can work together to develop a rectal cancer treatment plan that reflects your medical needs and personal values.
(Click Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage for more information on specific treatments for each stage of rectal cancer.)
Local Versus Systemic Rectal Cancer TreatmentRectal cancer treatment consists of either local therapy or systemic therapy.
Surgery and radiation therapy are forms of local rectal cancer treatment. These types of rectal cancer treatments remove or destroy cancer in the rectum. When rectal cancer has spread to other parts of the body, local therapy may be used to control the disease in those specific areas.