Do I need surgery?

Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer. If your tumor has not spread, this is the best way to completely get rid of the cancer.

What kind of colon cancer surgery will I need?

There are several types of surgery for colon cancer, and the best one for you depends on the location of your tumor, how far it may have spread and your overall health. These include:

  • Polypectomy and local excision during a colonoscopy to remove early colon cancers or polyps and a small amount of tissue from the wall of the colon
  • Colectomy to remove all or part of the colon and nearby lymph nodes
  • Diverting colostomy to allow body waste out of an opening through the abdominal wall
  • Ablation to treat cancer that has spread to other organs and can not be cured with surgery
  • Embolization to try and block the blood flow to cancer cells to stop them from growing

What is a colostomy?

A colostomy provides a new way for feces to leave the body. It is necessary for some patients who have colon cancer surgery. During this surgery, the surgeon will create a connection between the colon and the abdominal wall where feces are eliminated into a bag.

How will my life change if I need a colostomy?

After your surgery, you will be educated by the hospital staff about how to care for your colostomy and change your colostomy bag. While it will definitely bring a change to your life, it is manageable with education, guidance and support.

What are the side effects of colon cancer surgery?

Like any surgery, there can be complications during or following your procedure. The most common risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots in the legs that could break off and travel to the lungs
  • Infections
  • Abdominal pain