Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the colon. It is usually an adenocarcinoma. Treatment of colon cancer abroad gives excellent results even at the last stage of the disease. In developed countries, minimally invasive surgeries are carried out, the latest drug treatment regimens are used, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is performed. Undergoing colon cancer treatment abroad is a chance to prolong life or, hopefully, even become a cancer-free person.
Early-stage cancer can be treated with minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. During the procedure, a doctor inserts instruments through the anus. He excises the polyp along with the tumor or a section of mucosa.
The sample is examined in the laboratory. If there are no malignant cells around the edges of the removed tissue, no further treatment is needed.
The early stages of cancer can only be detected by screening, as small tumors do not cause any symptoms. This can be done with a colonoscopy, a CT scan of the colon or a fecal DNA test.
Most patients with colon cancer require surgery. The doctor removes part of the intestine: he crosses the intestine above and below the tumor and then sews the ends together to restore the digestive tract.
Treatment may take place in one, two, or even three stages. Usually, doctors try to do all the necessary manipulations in one surgery. But if the surgical intervention is performed in people with advanced cancer, against the background of intestinal obstruction or other complications, doctors often resort to two-stage treatment. During the first operation, a surgeon removes the tumor and forms a colostomy – the intestine opens to the anterior abdominal wall. After 1-2 months, a second surgery is performed to restore the continuity of the intestine.
Classically, surgical procedures are performed through a large incision in the abdomen. But clinical trials have shown that laparoscopic interventions can provide similar survival rates. At the same time, they are less traumatic, are better tolerated by patients, cause fewer complications and facilitate rehabilitation. Therefore, in Germany, preference is given to minimally invasive surgeries performed through short incisions in the abdomen. Some clinics perform robot-assisted interventions, which are even safer and are connected with minimal blood loss.
Colon cancer chemotherapy
All patients with early stage colon cancer, and most patients with stage 2 disease, do not need chemotherapy. The disease can be successfully treated with surgery.
Chemotherapy for stage 2 bowel cancer is administered only in separate cases:
- High degree of tumor malignancy
- Less than 12 lymph nodes removed during surgery (the doctor cannot be sure of the stage of the disease)
- Tumor spreading into large blood vessels
- Detection of cancer cells at the edge of the tissue removed (positive resection margin)
- Bowel obstruction or perforation
In stage 3, chemotherapy is indicated for all patients after surgery. It is sometimes given before surgery, along with radiation therapy, to reduce the size of the tumor.
Stage 4 colon cancer can still be treated with surgery. It is followed by chemotherapy. In case of inoperable cancer, drug treatment becomes the main treatment.
Treatment of advanced metastatic cancer
Even after distant metastases have developed, successful surgical treatment is still possible. For resectable metastases in the liver and lungs, doctors perform combined operations. In one operation, abdominal and thoracic surgeons resect the intestinal tumor and organs where metastases are found. The most common sites are the lungs and liver.
If the metastases cannot be removed, treatment starts with chemotherapy and targeted therapy. If resectability is achieved, the tumor foci are removed.
If the metastases cannot be removed, they can be destroyed by endovascular or percutaneous techniques or by radiotherapy. Chemoembolization, tumor radioembolization, cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation are used abroad.
German hospitals for colon cancer treatment
You can undergo colorectal cancer treatment abroad to get the best results. Booking Health specialists will recommend one of the best clinics for colon cancer treatment in Germany and organize your trip.
On the website you can compare oncological centers, prices and book a suitable medical program. Using Booking Health services, you can not only get the highest level of care, but also save up to 50% – the cost is reduced due to the exclusion of fees for foreign patients.