What is stage II colorectal cancer?
In stage II colorectal cancer, the cancer has spread into the outer layers of the colon or rectum but has not spread to any lymph nodes.
Stage II colon cancer treatment
Often the only treatment that is needed is a partial colectomy, a surgery that removes the section of colon where the cancer is located. Your surgeon will also remove nearby lymph nodes during this procedure.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo given after surgery) for stage II colon cancer. Adjuvant chemo can help destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Chemo & radiation
In most cases chemotherapy (usually 5-FU or capecitabine) and radiation are the first phase of treatment. This allows the tumor to shrink in size before surgical treatment.
Surgery is usually the second phase. Depending on where the the cancer is located in the rectum, surgeries that may be performed are:
- Transanal resection
- Low anterior resection (LAR)
- Abdominoperineal resection (APR)
The final phase of treatment is additional chemo after surgery.
Chemo drugs may be:
- FOLFOX regimen (oxaliplatin, 5-FU, and leucovorin)
- 5-FU and leucovorin
- CAPEOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin)
- Capecitabine alone
Why have adjuvant therapy (chemo given after surgery)?
Adjuvant chemotherapy may be recommended for stage II colon cancer that has:
- Invaded nearby organs, tissue, or lymph vessels
- Spread through the entire bowel wall, causing a perforation (hole)
- Blocked (obstructed) the colon
Your doctor may also recommend adjuvant chemotherapy if:
- Cancer was found in the margins (edge) of the removed tissue
- Fewer than 12 lymph nodes were removed for biopsy
- The cancer has certain characteristics of that put it at a high risk of recurrence
What types of therapy are used?
If you and your doctor decide that adjuvant therapy is a good option for you, 5-FU, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, or capecitabine may be used in combination or alone.
Colorectal cancer stagesStage III
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