Colon cancer in its preliminary stages is, in most cases, amenable to conventional medical interventions, with patients going into remission even without chemotherapy or radiation. However, as the progression of the disease spreads beyond the colon walls and enters the adjoining tissues or lymph nodes, the treatment involved also becomes progressively less effective. In the case of advanced metastatic colon cancer, the treatment modalities typically would comprise surgery with chemotherapy both before and after, along with radiation if recommended by the oncologist. Currently, the medical regimens that are undertaken for those with advanced metastatic colon cancer include a number of combination medicines that may also be used along with targeted or non-targeted medicines. Some of the medications prescribed by oncologists as advanced metastatic colon cancer treatment options may include the following:
- CapeOX – capecitabine with oxaliplatin
- FOLFOX – oxaliplatin with Leucovorin and Fluorouracil
- FOLFIRI – irinotecan with Leucovorin and Fluorouracil
- FOLFOXIRI – irinotecan, Leucovorin, Fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin
The above combinations may also be used along with a specific, targeted medication.
A number of other medications and certain combinations are also available as advanced metastatic colon cancer treatments. The attending oncologist would work with one regimen first. Only if that regimen fails to have the required results, the oncologist would then shift to another regimen. At times, gene changes are likely to occur during the course of advanced metastatic colon cancer treatment. In such cases, the patient may also be administered immunotherapy drugs.
Apart from the medical approaches, people with advanced metastatic colon cancer are also increasingly turning to alternative and complementary systems of medicine seeking alleviation of some of their symptoms. The reason for this is that the orthodox medical approach towards the treatments available for colon cancer has a very low cure rate because the process of chemotherapy and radiation can severely alter the lining of the intestine, thereby affecting digestion and metabolism. A multipronged approach using modern medicine along with other systems in many cases may offer greater relief to the patient. A nutritious, vitamin-rich diet is also recommended to boost the immune function of the system.