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"Can colorectal cancer treatments consist only of surgery?"


I have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and do not want to have radiation done. Is there a surgery only option? I'm 24 and would like to avoid radiation if I can.


I am very sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer at such a young age. You will definitely need to pursue treatment for this, and you should talk to your oncologist and your surgeon about treatment options and protocols, as they will be helping you to manage your care. Colorectal cancer is usually treated initially with surgery.

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Surgery allows the obvious cancer to be taken out. The surgeon will also remove lymph nodes and other tissues from the abdomen, which will be looked at closely for evidence that the cancer has spread outside of the intestine. If the cancer has spread, based on the findings from these tissues, then chemotherapy drugs are usually needed. These are medications that are specially administered by an oncologist and which are designed to prevent the spread of the cancer or to treat small areas of spread that were not detected. Radiation is not usually used in the treatment of colon cancer, although it may be considered in special cases of very advanced cancer. Start by discussing your fears and questions with your oncologist. They will be able to describe to you in detail what they are thinking for your plan of treatment.

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