Stage 4 colon cancer treatment
Formerly known as Duke’s D colon cancer, stage 4 colon cancer is the most advanced cancer stage. In general, stage 4 colon cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and other parts of the body. The National Cancer Institute, or NCI, describes stage 4 colon cancer as cancer that has spread to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, peritoneum, or ovaries. In stage 4 colon cancer, the prisoner has generally tunneled through several layers of the prison, found the highway, and traveled to another town (usually the liver or lungs).
Do you have stage 4 colon cancer? Don’t give up! There are drugs to battle the cancer and add months or years to your life, even when you have stage 4 colon cancer. Doctors prescribe these stage 4 colon cancer drugs either separately or in combinations. The drug treatments and side effects may be rough to take, but it is a battle to get rid of the stage 4 colon cancer or slow it down.
Your cancer doctor has knowledge of the latest aggressive drug treatments and their side effects. The prognosis for people with stage 4 colon cancer depends on whether the cancer has penetrated through the layers of the bowel, whether there are lymph nodes involved and whether the cancer has spread to distant organs. In stage 4 colon cancer, all three of these situations are present.
That means that people diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer may receive treatment that is a little different from those diagnosed in earlier stages. Recurrence of the disease is a major factor in treating people with stage 4 colon cancer. Surgery may be recommended if there are few distant metastases that are small enough to remove with the stage 4 colon cancer in order to help the person live longer.
For advanced stage 4 colon cancer, surgery might be recommended to relieve or prevent a blockage and help you be more comfortable. Chemotherapy is frequently the first treatment method used in an effort to shrink a tumor so it can be removed. For most patients, chemotherapy targeted to specific organs or tumor cells is the recognized treatment to control stage 4 colon cancer.
Radiation treatments may be used to help shrink a tumor and relieve pain. This is not a cure, but rather is intended to make you more comfortable. When you look at the ACS survival rates for people with stage 4 colon cancer, it is important to remember some important facts. First, these are people who were diagnosed and treated at least five years ago.
Research is ongoing and new treatment methods are being developed regularly. You have the benefit of these newer drugs and treatments and clinical trials. Second, colon cancer tends to occur in older people who often have heart disease and other health concerns. They may have been diagnosed with colon cancer but died of something else.
The NCI 5-year survival rate of 6% for stage 4 colon cancer is from more than 28,000 people who were diagnosed with colon cancer between 1998 and 2000. Much has been done in the past 10 years to improve treatment and increase the percentage of people surviving colon cancer.