Latest advances in colon cancer treatment
Posted by Master, Doctor Mai Vien Phuong - Department of Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Central Park International General Hospital
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States for men and women. In recent years, new advances in the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer) suggest a promising future for people with colorectal cancer.
1. The role of early detection of cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been declining for decades. In addition to new and improved colon cancer treatments, early detection is also a big part.
Late-stage metastatic colon cancer, or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, is much more difficult to treat.
People diagnosed with stage 4 cancer have a 5-year survival rate of about 14%, which means that 14 out of 100 people with stage 4 colon cancer are still alive after 5 years.
Meanwhile, people with stage 1 cancer have a 5-year survival rate of about 90%.
Today, there are several tests that can help detect early signs of colon cancer or even a predisposition to developing the disease.
1.1. Checking daily
Routine screening is key to detecting early colon cancer. The types of screening tests are:
Virtual colonoscopy Flexible sigmoidoscopy Stool blood test Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) Colonoscopy In general, you should begin screening. colon cancer by age 50, if you have an average risk of colon cancer.
But if you have a family history of colon cancer or other signs that indicate a higher risk of the disease, your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings starting at a young age. You can talk to your doctor about when to start screening for colon cancer.
Colon cancer screenings are important because they allow your doctor to look inside your colon to see how things are going.
The American College of Physicians recommends fecal blood tests every 2 years, colonoscopy every 10 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years plus FIT every 2 years if your CRC risk is greater 3%.
During a colonoscopy, if your doctor sees abnormal polyps or tumors inside your colon, they may remove them to see if they are cancerous.
If cancer is detected early, there is a better chance of stopping the cancer from growing before it spreads.
Standard check-up package
VIP general health check-up package
Special check-up package
1.2. DNA test
About 5 to 10% of colon cancer cases are the result of an inherited mutation passed down from parents to children.
DNA tests are available that can help doctors find out if you are at high risk for colon cancer.
This test involves taking a tissue sample from your blood or from a polyp or from a tumor if you have received a diagnosis of colon cancer.
1.3. Minimally invasive surgery
Surgical techniques have continued to evolve for the treatment of colon cancer over the past few decades, as surgeons have developed new methods and learned more about what to remove.
Many guidelines have recommended removing enough lymph nodes during surgery for colorectal cancer to increase the likelihood of success.
Recent advances in minimally invasive surgery to remove polyps or cancerous tissue mean less pain for the patient and shorter recovery time, while the surgeon enjoys the high precision than.
Laparoscopic surgery is an example: Your surgeon makes several small incisions in your abdomen, through which they insert a few cameras and surgical instruments.
Today, robotic surgery is even used for colorectal cancer surgery. It involves the use of robotic arms to perform surgery. This new technique is still being studied for its effectiveness.
1.4. Targeted therapy
In recent years, targeted therapy has been used with or instead of chemotherapy.
Unlike chemotherapy drugs, which destroy both cancerous tissue and surrounding healthy tissue, targeted therapy only treats cancer cells.
Also, they are usually reserved for people with advanced colon cancer.
Researchers are still studying the benefits of targeted therapy drugs, as they don't work well for everyone. They can also be very expensive and cause side effects.
Your doctor will talk to you about the potential benefits and drawbacks of using targeted therapy drugs. Those commonly used today include:
Bevacizumab (Avastin) Cetuximab (Erbitux) Panitumumab (Vectibix) Ramucirumab (Cyramza) Regorafenib (Stivarga) Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap)
Perhaps the most recent innovation in colon cancer treatment involves immunotherapy, which uses your body's immune system to fight cancer.
For example, a colon cancer vaccine to boost the immune system's response to cancer is being developed. But most immunotherapies for colon cancer are still in clinical trials.
This type of test is done on noncancerous cells to see if someone has a gene mutation that can increase the risk of developing cancer or other diseases.
Currently, Vinmec International General Hospital has a Colorectal Cancer Screening Package with a team of experienced doctors and nurses in the field of colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment, with the support of the system. modern technological equipment, full range of specialized facilities for diagnosis and staging before treatment such as: Endoscopy, CT scan, PET-CT scan, MRI, Mammography, diagnostic Histopathological diagnosis, gene-cell testing, ... help detect colon cancer early even when there are no symptoms.
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The article references the source: The American Cancer Society Medical and Editorial Content Team. (2020). Key statistics for colorectal cancer. Welcome to the QCancer®(15yr,colorrectal) risk calculator. (n.d.). Wong SL. (2009). Lymph node counts and survival rates after resection for colon and rectal cancer.