The patient’s treatment plan is always prepared individually, listening to the patient, and it is affected by the location, size and staging of the tumor and the patient’s general condition. An colorectal cancer may be a surface cancer, locally or regionally staged cancer or metastatic cancer. Preoperative examinations and treatments are used on a case-by-case basis. For example, in rectal cancer it may be necessary to provide external radiotherapy or a combination treatment of radiotherapy and cytostatic therapy before surgery so that the tumor can be decreased in size and the risk of local recurrence can also be diminished.
Surgery is the primary and only curing treatment for colon cancer and rectal cancer. Docrates seeks to arrange surgery as soon as possible. The necessary additional examinations, such as imaging, can be performed at Docrates before the operation. The operation is performed by Docrates’ partner hospitals. The surgical team at the operating hospital and the patient’s personal doctor and counselling nurse at Docrates work together as a team to ensure that surgery is carried out promptly and with optimal results.
Surgical techniques have developed in the past few years, thereby enabling better treatment results and a shorter recovery period. A permanent enterostomy is only rarely needed, which has a great impact on the patient’s quality of life. In colon cancer, partial removal of the colon, or hemicolectomy, is usually performed In rectal cancer, the upper part of the rectum or the entire rectum with the mesenteries can be removed, depending on the location of the tumor. If the tumor is located near the anus, it may also be necessary to remove the anus and the sphincter, in which case a permanent stoma is needed. After surgery, a pathologist examines the removed tumor carefully, which provides important additional information on the staging of the cancer to lymph nodes, for example.
After the operation, the doctors at Docrates will recommend any necessary chemotherapy. The recommendation is made individually on the basis of the latest research data and national and international treatment guidelines.
The purpose of adjuvant therapy is to prevent the recurrence of the cancer after surgery. Adjuvant cytostatic therapy is used as a postoperative therapy if cancer is found in close-by lymph nodes or if the cancer and/or the operation is related to other factors increasing the risk of recurrence. The goal of cytostatic medication is to destroy any individual runaway cancer cells and thus prevent the formation of metastases. The cornerstones of the adjuvant therapy of colorectal cancer are 5-fluorouracil and tablet-form capecitabine. If necessary, oxaliplatin is combined with them to provide additional power. Chemotherapy is associated with varying adverse effects. We pay particular attention to their prevention and treatment.
In rectal cancers, radiotherapy is often used as preoperative treatment to diminish the risk of local recurrence of the cancer. In some cases, radiotherapy is also needed in the treatment of bone metastases. At Docrates, radiotherapy is always optimised individually for each patient, utilising the best technique.