Why do I need chemotherapy after my bowel resection?

Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Ultima Vez Modificado: 30 de junio del 2002

Share article


Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Why do I need chemotherapy after my bowel resection?  

Answer

Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN, OncoLink's Clinical Trials Coordinator, responds:

The answer to this question is dependent on the stage of the cancer. In stage II or III colon cancer, chemotherapy after surgery, also called adjuvant therapy, is given in an effort to prevent the cancer from returning (or recurring). Forty percent of patients that have their entire tumor removed surgically will ultimately develop a recurrence. Chemotherapy can significantly decrease the chance of the cancer returning.

In stage IV colon cancer, chemotherapy after surgery is given to extend life or improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms caused by the tumor. Chemotherapy in these cases is not considered to cure a patient. Despite the fact that the primary tumor (the tumor in the colon) may have been removed by the surgeon, it has been determined that the cancer has spread to other organs. In a very small number of cases, tumors in the liver or lung may be able to be surgically removed, improving the patient's chance for survival. Advances in chemotherapy have allowed patients with stage IV colon cancer to survive longer than ever before.


News
Data Point Out Why Certain Mutation in GI Tumor Occurs

Dec 18, 2014 - New evidence may explain why just isoleucine is naturally selected as a resistance mutant at position 670 of the tyrosine kinase KIT in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors treated with imatinib, according to research published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Frequently Asked Questions

National Cancer Institute

Conferences

I Wish You Knew

How cancer patients have changed my life

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Frente a un nuevo diagnóstico de cáncer o de cambiar el curso de su tratamiento actual? Deje que nuestro personal de enfermería cáncer que ayudan a pasar!

Más información