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35

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017

3

Overview of cancer treatments

Review

Joining a clinical trial has benefits. First, you’ll have

access to the most current cancer care. However,

please note that it is unknown how well new

treatments work if at all. Second, you will receive the

best management of care. Third, the results of your

treatment—both good and bad—will be carefully

tracked. Fourth, you may help other people who will

have cancer in the future.

Clinical trials have risks, too. Like any test or

treatment, there may be side effects. Also, new

tests or treatments may or may not improve your

health. In fact, your health may worsen during a trial.

Other downsides may include more hospital trips,

paperwork, and extra costs for you.

To join a clinical trial, you must meet the conditions

of the study. Patients in a clinical trial are often alike

in terms of their cancer and general health. Thus, if

patients improve, it’s because of the treatment and

not because of differences between them.

To join, you’ll need to review and sign an informed

consent form. This form describes the study in detail.

The study’s risks and benefits should be described

and may include others than those described above.

Ask your treatment team if there is an open clinical

trial that you can join. There may be clinical trials

where you’re getting treatment or at other treatment

centers nearby. You can also find clinical trials

through the websites listed in Part 7.

Review

†

†

A colectomy is an operation that removes

the part of the colon with cancer. A

lymphadenectomy is the removal of lymph

nodes, and a metastasectomy is the removal of

metastases.

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Chemotherapy stops cancer cells from

completing their life cycle so they can’t increase

in number.

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One type of targeted therapy stops the growth

of new blood vessels into colon tumors. Without

blood, cancer cells starve and die. A second

type of targeted therapy for colon cancer stops

the cancer cells from receiving certain growth

signals.

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†

Radiation kills cancer cells or stops new cancer

cells from being made. It isn’t often used to

treat colon cancer.

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†

Ablation destroys small tumors by freezing

or burning them. It isn’t often used for colon

cancer.

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†

Embolization treats cancer by blocking blood

flow to the tumor and damaging cancer cells

with chemotherapy or radiation. It is used for a

very select group of people.

†

†

Clinical trials give people access to new tests

and treatments that otherwise can’t usually be

received. These new tests and treatments may,

in time, be approved by the FDA.