Rectal cancer is frequently treated with a mix of medicines. Surgery is done to remove cancer cells wherever possible. After surgery, further therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of cancer returning. Your doctor may propose a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy as your initial treatment if surgeons are concerned that cancer cannot be entirely removed without harming neighboring organs and tissues.
Rectal cancer is frequently treated by removing the malignant cells through surgery. The ideal procedure for you is determined by factors such as the location and stage of your disease, the aggressiveness of the cancer cells, your overall health, and your preferences.
Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given following surgery for rectal cancer to eradicate any remaining cancer cells. Before an operation, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to shrink large cancer so that it is more manageable to remove with surgery.
Radiation therapy destroys cancer cells by using high-energy sources like X-rays and protons. In persons with rectal cancer, radiation therapy is frequently paired with chemotherapy, which increases the likelihood of the radiation damaging the cancer cells. It can be used after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used to shrink cancer before surgery to make it easier to remove.
Combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Chemoradiotherapy, which combines chemotherapy and radiation therapy, makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. Larger rectal tumors and those with a higher risk of recurrence following surgery are frequently treated with this combination.