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

This section is about treatment for bowel cancer that hasn't spread to another part of the body.

Treatment decisions for early bowel cancer

Find out about how your doctor decides which treatment you need for early bowel cancer, the types of treatment you might have and treatment by stage.


Find out about the types of surgery for early cancer of the large bowel (colon) or the back passage (rectum). Get information on how to prepare for surgery and what happens afterwards.


Find out about where and how you have chemotherapy for early bowel cancer, and about the side effects.


Radiotherapy uses high energy waves similar to x-rays to kill bowel cancer cells. 


You might have chemotherapy and radiotherapy together. This is called chemoradiotherapy. 

Treatment for advanced cancer

Deciding about treatment can be difficult when you have advanced bowel cancer. Treatment can help to reduce symptoms, make you feel better and sometimes can help you to live longer. 

Follow up

Find out about follow up appointments and tests after treatment for bowel cancer.

Research and clinical trials

All treatments must be fully researched before they can be adopted as standard treatment for everyone. Find out about research into bowel (colorectal) cancer. 

Last reviewed: 
30 Sep 2015

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