Treatment for bowel (colon) cancer

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 colon cancer that hasn't spread to another part of the body.

When colon and rectal cancer spread to another part of the body it is called advanced bowel cancer.

Treatment decisions for colon cancer

A team of doctors and other professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you. The main treatments are surgery and chemotherapy. 

Surgery for colon cancer

Most people have surgery for colon cancer that hasn't spread. The operation you have depends on the position of the cancer in the bowel. 

Chemotherapy for colon cancer

Chemotherapy uses anti cancer drugs to destroy cancer. You might have it after surgery for colon 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, as well as how to take part in clinical trials.

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. 

Follow up

After treatment, you have regular check ups and tests at the hospital. The doctors check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries.

Last reviewed: 
26 Jan 2022
Next review due: 
26 Jan 2025
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