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Colon Cancer Surgery

The most common treatment for colon cancer is surgery. There are a few different types of surgery for colon cancer and the specific type of procedure usually depends on several important factors.

  • The goal of the surgery

  • The location of the cancer in the colon

  • The extent, or stage of the cancer

The goal of any colon cancer treatment is to remove the cancer. Removal of the cancer in its early stages helps to prevent the spread of the disease.

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Types of Colon Cancer Surgery

The type of surgery performed will be dependent on the stage of the cancer.

Polypectomy (removal of one or more polyps)

Removing the cancer in just one piece is the goal of a polypectomy. When colon cancer is contained in a polyp (or multiple polyps), a polypectomy will be performed. This procedure is used in the early stage of colon cancer. Polyps can be removed through an abdominal incision, but most often they are removed during a colonoscopy. A polyp resembles a mushroom, and it is cut off at its base, using a wire loop inserted through the colonoscope.

Colectomy (hemicolectomy, partial colectomy, or segmental resection)

If cancer has progressed, a colectomy will be performed, which is the removal of part or all of the colon. If lymph nodes are affected, they will be removed as well. Removal of the entire colon is not common.

Hemicolectomy, partial colectomy, or segmental colectomy procedures will be performed if cancer has affected a specific part or parts of the colon. This type of surgery consists of the removal of the segment of the colon that is cancerous, including a bit of the normal tissue surrounding the cancer to ensure that all of cancer has been eliminated.

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