Radiation therapy is a treatment option for colon cancer. This form of therapy involves the use of x-rays or other high-energy rays to shrink tumors by destroying cancer cells.
- Because colon cancer sometimes recurs at its original site, radiation therapy may used to decrease the chances of cancer recurrence. Radiation treatments may be used prior to colon cancer surgery to decrease the size of the tumor, or may begin shortly after the surgery. Radiation therapy is used for colon cancers that have spread beyond the wall of the rectum. This can be determined prior to surgery by testing with endorectal ultrasound and computed tomography.
Radiation therapy may be delivered in two ways:
- By a special machine in the hospital or doctor's office. X-rays coming from this equipment are aimed and targeted to a specific portion of the colon.
- By "planting seeds" of radiation directly into the body through thin plastic tubes.
Need To Know:
Radiation therapy destroys cancer cells but can also damage normal cells.
In most people, the side effects of radiation and
While undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment:
For more detailed information about radiation, go to Radiation Therapy.