Surgery Unnecessary For Most Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

colorectal cancerThrough studies, doctors have discovered that chemotherapy instead of surgery for Colorectal Cancer patients reduces risks to patients.

Colorectal Cancer is a metastatic cancer that cannot be cured by surgery.

Colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer related deaths in America and the fourth most common type.

Patients with advanced colorectal cancer at stage four, which has spread to vital organs do not require immediate surgery to remove the tumor.

If the tumor is not obstructing, perforated or bleeding patients are best treated with chemotherapy. Patients then avoid the risk of surgical complications and treatment can start straight away.

A team of doctors looked at 223 patients with this metastatic colorectal cancer, at MSKCC from 2000 to 2006, and their studies found that 217 of the 223 patients did not require surgery for complications due to the tumour.

Patients previously would undergo surgery as soon as diagnosis of the tumour, with chemotherapy treatments starting up to six weeks later. This was thought to prevent complications from the primary tumour.

Due to developments in chemotherapy, doctors have started looking at the disease in a different light, and began admitting chemotherapy which shrunk colon tumours and metastases.

The use of surgery on patients in ‘old thinking’ according to Dr Phillip Paty, surgical oncologist at MSKCC, patients from time to time may need surgery, but the majority of cases will be able to start Chemotherapy treatment as soon as possible. Dr Paty again says that doctors default position should be not to operate.