Rectal Cancer Treatment & Therapy Options
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Treating Rectal Cancer
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we offer a powerful range of rectal cancer treatment options, including medical treatments like surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as well as supportive cancer therapies.
As a rectal cancer patient at CTCA, your care team will work closely with you to evaluate your unique needs. Based on this evaluation, your care team will determine the treatment for rectal cancer that is most appropriate for you.
Surgery for rectal cancer may be used in both the early and advanced stages of the disease. Depending on the stage and your treatment goals, surgery may be used in conjunction with other treatments for rectal cancer, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Surgery is performed to remove tumors and the cancerous portion of the rectum. Adjacent healthy rectal tissue is also removed, along with excess fatty tissue and a number of nearby lymph nodes. Pathologists examine the lymph nodes under a microscope to determine if cancerous cells are present. This information helps doctors stage the disease and determine if additional rectal cancer treatments are needed.
- Polypectomy - In early stages of rectal cancer (stage 0 and stage I), the cancer can sometimes be treated by removing the polyp.
- Rectum Resection (proctectomy) - The cancerous portion of the rectum is surgically removed. A colostomy may also be performed in conjunction with a proctectomy to help the body eliminate waste.
- The da Vinci® Surgical System - This sophisticated robotic surgical platform enables our surgeons to perform complex and delicate surgical procedures with improved precision, vision, dexterity and control. It can be a less invasive option for performing rectum resection.
- Liver Resection - For some rectal cancer patients who have metastatic disease in the liver, surgery to remove a portion of the liver containing the cancer may be a viable treatment option.
- Radiofrequency Ablation - Heated radiofrequency waves treat cancerous tumors. If cancer has spread to other parts of the body, like the liver, this procedure may be used during surgery for rectal cancer.
The anti-cancer drugs used in chemotherapy are designed to inhibit the rapid division of cancer cells. Depending on your individual rectal cancer treatment plan, chemotherapy may be used before and/or after surgery.
Chemotherapy for rectal cancer is typically administered through intravenous (IV) infusion. For this method of delivery, first a needle is inserted into a vein in your arm or hand. Then, a catheter (thin plastic tube) is inserted and the needle is removed. The chemotherapy flows through a tube attached to the catheter. The tube extends from an IV bag or bottle containing the medicine. The chemotherapy is slowly released into your bloodstream, traveling throughout your body.
At CTCA, we also offer innovative chemotherapy delivery methods that allow us to administer chemotherapy to a particular area of the body, such as:
- Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) - HIPEC is a heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution which is delivered directly to the abdomen. It is administered immediately following surgery to remove visible tumors within the abdomen. The goal is to penetrate and destroy cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery. In comparison to traditional chemotherapy delivery, HIPEC allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. And because the chemotherapy is kept within the abdomen, it minimizes the rest of the body’s exposure to the treatment. This helps reduce some chemotherapy side effects.
- Intra-arterial Chemotherapy (IAC) and Chemoembolization - A targeted dose of chemotherapy drugs are delivered through the hepatic artery directly to the liver. If your cancer has metastasized (spread) to the liver, your oncologist may recommend this type of chemotherapy for rectal cancer to target tumors in the liver while helping to spare healthy surrounding tissue.
Targeted therapy delivers drugs to cancerous cells, preventing these cells from receiving the hormones and nutrients they need to continue to grow. Monoclonal antibody therapy is one targeted drug therapy for rectal cancer that aims to leverage the body's natural immune response to recognize, attack and destroy rectal cancer cells.
Radiation therapy targets tumors with precision high-energy rays. We offer some of the most leading-edge radiation therapies in the United States. These radiation therapies use techniques that enable your doctor to deliver concentrated doses directly to the tumor.
Our radiation oncologists utilize advanced radiation therapy delivery systems to eliminate rectal cancer, including:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
Integrative Therapies for Rectal Cancer
We believe caring for your overall well-being is an important part of the treatment process. Our integrative approach treats more than just the disease—your cancer care team will help improve your quality of life while you are receiving treatment for rectal cancer. For example, nutrition therapy, mind-body medicine and oncology rehabilitation help keep your mind and body strong throughout treatment.
Supportive Therapies for Rectal Cancer Patients
- Nutrition Therapy
- Pain Management
- Naturopathic Medicine
- Mind-Body Medicine
- Oncology Rehabilitation
- Spiritual Support
- Chiropractic Care
- Survivorship Support
The CTCA Difference
At CTCA, we strive to provide integrative treatment for rectal cancer that heals the whole person, improves quality of life and restores hope.
If you're looking for an innovative and personalized approach to treating rectal cancer, call us today at 888-841- 9129 or chat online to explore our rectal cancer treatment program in more detail.