Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment - GO.CARE Blog
Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment
Author: Hào Nghiêm
Review Date: August 5, 2018 | Last Modified: January 16, 2019
Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment


1. What is Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. The bowel is part of the digestive system, it is divided into the small bowel (small intestine) and the large bowel (colon and rectum). Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer. The majority of cancers develop in the large bowel.

Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment, which may also be referred to as colorectal cancer treatment, varies depending on the location and stage of the cancer.

The stages of colon/bowel cancer are:

  • Stage I. The cancer has grown through the superficial lining (mucosa) of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
  • Stage II. The cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage III. The cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of your body yet.
  • Stage IV. The cancer has spread to distant sites, such as other organs — for instance, to your liver or lung.

2. What is the purpose of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

The purpose of colon/bowel cancer treatment is to remove cancer and reduce the risk of it spreading or coming back (in early stages) or to lengthen life and relieve symptoms and side effects.

The main treatments are:

  • Surgery – the cancerous section of bowel is removed; it’s the most effective way of curing bowel cancer and in many cases is all you need
  • Chemotherapy – where medication is used to kill cancer cells
  • Radiotherapy – where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
  • Biological treatments (Targeted drug therapy) – a newer type of medication that increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy and prevents the cancer spreading


1. When is Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment needed?

Once you are diagnosed with colon/bowel cancer, usually, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.

2. Who are eligible for Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

Eligibility depends on many factors such as the severity of your cancer (staging), your general health and preferences for treatment.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


1. Cost of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment in Vietnam

The cost of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment depends on the hospitals, clinics, health condition and the stage of cancer. The total cost estimated for treating Colon/Bowel cancer can be up to 25 millions VND. Beside the surgery fees, patients have to pay for the fee of facilities, medicines, radiotherapy or chemotherapy required, etc.

Radiotherapy for Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment usually used to support curing, push the effective of procedure before or after surgery and can be used in case of patients no need surgery to treat the cancer. Radiotherapy will cost patient basing on the number of therapy used.

2. Cost of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment in other countries

In Germany, the mean incremental costs – annualized for each phase of colorectal cancer (initial, the intermediate and the end-of-life)– were €26,000, €2,300, and €51,700, respectively. The costs of the initial phase of care were higher for rectal than for colon cancer. Annualized stage-specific cost estimates ranged from €15,000 to €21,300 for early stages and from €29,800 to €35,000 for late stages.

In Australia, the annual cost for colon cancer treatment also varies on the stage of cancer:

  • $30,890 for stage 1
  • $47,534 for stage 2
  • $74,225 for stage 3
  • $61,423 for stage 4


1. What should I do before Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

Patients will meet with the doctor to discuss the methods of treatment and to discuss the recommended treatment plan. Patients should prepare any questions they may have and raise any concerns before beginning treatment.

If a colonoscopy is being performed, patients will need to complete a “colon prep” which ensures that their bowels are empty ahead of the procedure.

Although methods of clearing the bowels vary, most patients will be asked to adopt an all-liquid diet 1 to 2 days before the procedure and to avoid red or purple food or drinks in the days before the procedure.

The patient is usually prescribed a laxative solution to take the day before the procedure, in order to fully clear the bowels. The amount of solution to be taken, varies with each patient and is generally mixed with 3 to 4 liters of water which is to be taken over the course of a few hours, depending on how much needs to be taken.

After the colon prep, patients will be advised to avoid solid foods and to stop drinking ahead of the general anesthetic.

2. What should I do after Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

After treatment, patients will need to have regular cancer screening, usually undergoing regular colonoscopies and CT scans, to ensure the cancer does not return.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


1. How long does Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment last?

The duration of treatment depends on what type of surgery or treatment is performed.

For chemotherapy, which is performed by administering drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA), or via intraperitoneal (IP) injections to destroy the cancer cells, the treatment is performed over a series of weeks.

For radiotherapy, which is performed by directing radiation beams at the targeted area, and like chemotherapy, the treatment usually requires multiple sessions and are performed over a series of weeks

2. How is the procedure of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

♦ Surgery

If undergoing surgery, the patient is administered with a general anesthetic before the surgery begins. If the patient is undergoing a colonoscopy, then they are administered with light sedation.

◊ Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy involves inserting an endoscope fitted with a camera into the rectum through the large intestine.The camera is maneuvered through the large intestine and the doctor will examine the images on a screen as it is passed through. Small instruments are attached to the endoscope and are used to remove polyps. One removed, the doctor will then remove the endoscope.

◊ Colectomy
A colectomy involves removing part or all of the bowel, however the entire bowel may need to removed, and the procedure is referred to as a proctocolectomy. A colectomy can be performed as an open surgery or laparoscopically.

  • Open colectomy

An open colectomy involves making a long incision in the abdomen to access the colon. The surgeon uses tools to free the colon from the surrounding tissue, and will then cut a portion of the colon which is cancerous, or the entire colon out.

  • Laparoscopic colectomy

A laparoscopic colectomy involves making several small incisions in the abdomen. Using a small camera threaded through one incision and using surgical tools through the other incisions, the colon is lifted out. This allows the surgeon to operate on the colon outside of the body without making large incisions.

Once the cancer has been removed, the surgeon reinserts the colon through the incision. The surgeon will then reconnect the colon to the digestive system in order to restore the function of getting rid of waste.

If the entire colon has been removed, the surgeon will make a connection between the anus and small intestine, by using a small section of the small intestine to form the connection. This allows for normal evacuation of the waste.

◊ Colostomy

A colostomy is performed to divert the large intestine to the abdominal wall, where a stoma is created and connected to a pouch, so that waste can be removed. It may be performed if a portion of the large intestine has been removed and cannot be reconnected. If the procedure is performed but will be reversed, then a loop colostomy is performed, however, if it is permanent, then an end colostomy is performed.

A loop colostomy involves taking a loop of the colon and pulling it through a hole in the abdomen and attaching it to the skin, wheres an end colostomy involves taking one end of the colon and pulling it through a hole in the abdomen and attaching it to the skin. These surgeries can be performed as open or laparoscopic surgery.

♦ Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for colon cancer is usually given after surgery if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. In this way, chemotherapy may help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and death from cancer. Sometimes chemotherapy may be used before surgery as well, with the goal of shrinking the cancer before an operation.

Chemotherapy can also be given to relieve symptoms of colon cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.

♦ Radiotherapy

Radiation therapy uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells, to shrink large tumors before an operation so that they can be removed more easily, or to relieve symptoms of colon cancer and rectal cancer. Radiation therapy either alone or combined with chemotherapy is one of the standard treatment options for the initial management of rectal cancer followed by surgery.

♦ Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug therapy is performed by administering a number of drugs to the patients which will target certain components of the cancer cells. The treatment will usually be performed in combination with chemotherapy.

The drugs used may include including:

  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • Cetuximab (Erbitux)
  • Panitumumab (Vectibix)
  • Ramucirumab (Cyramza)
  • Regorafenib (Stivarga)
  • Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap)

Targeted drugs can be given along with chemotherapy or alone. In general, targeted drugs are typically reserved for people with advanced colon cancer.

In conclusion, treatments are most often used in combination with each other, particularly if the cancer is advanced a surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before the surgery to shrink the tumor or after the surgery to destroy any cancer that could not be removed during surgery.

3. What happens after the procedure?

Generally, after the surgery, patients will initially be fed a liquid diet intravenously before moving onto clear liquids under hospital supervision. Moreover, a return to a normal diet will take some time and should be attempted under the advice of a doctor.

Furthermore, weakness and lethargy are to be expected for at least a couple of weeks after the surgery.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Complications & Side Effects

1. What complications could arise from Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

In general, possible complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Injury to other organs
  • Hernia
  • Bowel obstruction

2. What are the possible side effects of Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment?

♦ Side effects of surgery

In general, the side effects of surgery include pain and tenderness in the area of the operation. The operation may also cause constipation or diarrhea, which usually goes away after a while.

♦ Side effects of chemotherapy

Generally, chemotherapy may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, neuropathy, or mouth sores. However, medications to prevent these side effects are available. Because of the way drugs are given, these side effects are less severe than they have been in the past for most patients.

In addition, patients may be unusually tired, and there is an increased risk of infection. Neuropathy, tingling or numbness in feet or hands, may also occur with some drugs. Significant hair loss is an uncommon side effect with many of the drugs used to treat colorectal cancer, except irinotecan.

♦ Side effects of radiation therapy

Normally, side effects from radiation therapy may include fatigue, mild skin reactions, upset stomach, and loose bowel movements. It may also cause bloody stools from bleeding through the rectum or blockage of the bowel. Most side effects go away soon after treatment is finished.

Moreover, sexual problems, as well as infertility (the inability to have a child) in both men and women, may occur after radiation therapy to the pelvis.

♦ Side effects of targeted therapies

Generally, the side effects of targeted treatments can include a rash to the face and upper body, which can be prevented or reduced with various treatments.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Please choose the best hospitals and clinics that provide Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment in Asia to get the most suitable healthcare for your condition.

GO.CARE  does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or Colon/Bowel Cancer Treatment.

1. Colon cancer Accessed June 13, 2018

2. Estimating Colorectal Cancer Treatment Costs: A Pragmatic Approach Exemplified by Health Insurance Data from Germany June 13, 2018

3. Bowel cancer treatment costs quadruple in 10 years Accessed June 13, 2018

4. Colorectal Cancer: Treatment Option Accessed June 13, 2018

5. Bowel cancer Accessed June 13, 2018

6. Colon/Bowel cancer Accessed June 13, 2018