NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Colon Cancer - page 27

NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Colon Cancer
Version 1.2012
General anesthesia:
A controlled loss of
consciousness from drugs
Part 4: Treating colon cancer
4.3 Treatments for colon cancer
Colon cancer is a serious disease that can be treated. Knowing what the treatments
are will help you read the treatment guide in Part 7. Not every person with colon
cancer will receive every type of treatment listed. There are several terms used to
describe when treatment is given. For example, some people receive chemotherapy
after surgery. In this case, surgery is the primary treatment, and chemotherapy is an
adjuvant treatment.
Terms describing the order of a treatment
Primary treatment
The main treatment for cancer
Conversion treatment
Treatments given to qualify you for surgery
Neoadjuvant treatment
Treatments given before the primary treatment
Adjuvant treatment
Treatment that follows primary treatment
First-line treatment
The first treatment given
Second-line treatment
The treatment given after the first treatment fails
If the cancer has grown beyond the polyp, a colectomy is done to remove the part
of the colon with cancer. There are a few steps to prepare for the surgery. You may
need to stop taking some medications to reduce the risk of severe bleeding. Eating
less, changing to a liquid diet, or using enemas or laxatives will empty your colon for
surgery. Right before surgery, you will be given general anesthesia.
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