Colorectal CancerColorectal Cancer Treatment and Medication

Let's Talk About Colorectal Cancer Treatment and Medication

In recent years, major research advances have given hope to those dealing with this serious disease. Discover the latest options available, and how they're changing the game.

    Our Pro PanelColorectal Cancer Treatment and Medication

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in colorectal cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Leonid Cherkassky, M.D.

    Leonid Cherkassky, M.D.Assistant Professor of Oncology

    Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Buffalo, NY
    Gautam Mankaney, M.D.

    Gautam Mankaney, M.D.Gastroenterologist

    Cleveland Clinic
    Cleveland, OH
    Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D.

    Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D.Associate Professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention

    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Houston, TX

    Frequently Asked QuestionsColorectal Cancer Treatment and Medication

    Can advanced colon cancer be treated?

    Yes, more than ever, in large part because surgeons have become better at removing tumors that have spread to the liver and other organs. Chemotherapy plus surgery allows many patients with advanced colon cancer to live more than 10 years after diagnosis.

    Does targeted therapy have side effects?

    If chemotherapy is like a sledgehammer, targeted therapy is more of a chisel—but even so, these treatments can have side effects. Some can cause high blood pressure and fatigue, among other problems; others can cause acne-like rashes and headaches (all of which are preferable to cancer!).

    Who can get immunotherapy?

    Immunotherapy is used only for people with advanced colorectal cancer. Even then, it’s effective only for a subset of people with cancer that shows specific genetic changes. Special tests are needed to figure out if a patient might be helped by specific kinds of immunotherapy.

    How often do I need a colonoscopy after treatment?

    You’ll likely be scheduled for the exam every five years, according to recommendations from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. If you had more advanced cancer, your doctor may set a different schedule for follow-up testing.

    Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis

    A health reporter and editor in New York, Lisa Davis has contributed to numerous outlets, including Health, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Science News, and others.