Treatment

Bowel cancer can start in the large bowel (colon cancer) or back passage (rectal cancer). It is also called colorectal cancer. 

Your treatment depends on whether you have colon or rectal cancer. 

Your treatment also depends on the stage of your cancer.  When colon and rectal cancer spread to another part of the body it is called advanced bowel cancer. 

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.

Treatment for bowel (colon) cancer

This section is about treatment for large bowel (colon) cancer that hasn't spread to another part of the body. The main treatments are surgery and chemotherapy. 

Treatment for bowel (rectal) cancer

This section is about treatment for cancer that starts in the back passage (rectal cancer). The main treatments are chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy. 

Treatment for advanced bowel cancer

Treatment for advanced bowel cancer can help to reduce symptoms, make you feel better and sometimes help you live longer. 

Last reviewed: 
26 Jan 2022
Next review due: 
26 Jan 2025
Coronavirus and cancer

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Read our information about coronavirus and cancer