Colorectal cancer treatment at The Christ Hospital Health Network

If you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you may feel worried or overwhelmed. That's a natural part of your cancer journey. At The Christ Hospital Health Network, we'll make sure you also feel reassured and supported every step of the way.

Our team of cancer specialists includes gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional radiologists. Together we create a treatment plan that will address several factors, including your symptoms and cancer stage. Stage refers to the extent of your cancer, the size of the tumor and if the cancer has spread.

Knowing the stage of your cancer helps your doctor:

  • Understand your cancer type

  • Identify whether your cancer has spread to other parts of your body

  • Plan the most effective treatment for you

  • Find clinical trials that offer better treatment options for your type of cancer

A cancer is always referred to by the stage it was given at diagnosis, even if it gets worse or spreads. New information about how a cancer has changed over time gets added on to the original stage. So, the stage doesn't change, even though the cancer might.

You may receive a combination of medical, surgical or radiation treatments. These include:

  • Chemotherapy—drugs that kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • Radiation therapy—a treatment that uses radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • Surgery—procedures used to remove polyps, a tumor or an entire organ. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive surgeries to treat early-stage colorectal cancer. We also perform more extensive "open" procedures for cancer that has spread through the colon wall or to other organs. Examples include surgery to remove part of the colon (partial colectomy) or the entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).
  • Targeted therapies—drugs that target specific tumor cells to make sure they do not grow or spread.

It's important to understand your treatment options and ask questions about risks and possible side effects. Your doctor will talk with you and recommend treatments based on the stage of your cancer, your preferences and your overall health.