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Colon Cancer – Systemic Medical Therapy

June 24, 2021


Chemotherapy is usually used to treat colorectal cancers which are larger in size or have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Chemotherapy sometimes may be used before surgery to shrink larger tumors so that the subsequent surgery will be more successful. Chemotherapy may also be used when the cancer is not operable, either because of its location or because it has spread to other parts of the body. Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die. Targeted drugs are usually combined with chemotherapy and sometimes they’re used alone. Targeted drugs are typically reserved for people with advanced colon cancer. The cancer cells are usually tested to see if there are certain mutations for the specific targeted therapy to be effective. Immunotherapy is a drug treatment that uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body’s disease fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that trick the immune system cells from recognizing the cancer cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process. Immunotherapy is usually reserved for advanced colon cancer. Your doctor might have your cancer cells tested to see if they’re likely to respond to this treatment.

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