Goal of Radiation Therapy for Colorectal Cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation from X-rays or another source to kill cancer cells. It is a major part of the treatment for rectal cancers. It’s also sometimes used as a treatment for colon cancers. There are several reasons your doctor may recommend this therapy.

  • To shrink a tumor before surgery. That will make it easier to remove and will reduce the damage surgery might cause. When it’s used before surgery, it’s called a neoadjuvant therapy.

  • To kill any cancer cells left after surgery. Used after surgery, it’s called an adjuvant therapy.

  • To ease symptoms caused by tumors that have spread to other organs

Radiation therapy is not a substitute for surgery. Surgery is generally the main treatment for colorectal cancer, except in cases of advanced cancers which cannot be eliminated surgically.

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