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Treatment options for bowel cancer stage 4


The main criterion for diagnosing a patient with the fourth stage of colon cancer is distant metastases. The primary neoplasm may be of any size; it should not necessarily grow through the entire intestinal wall. According to American statistics, one in five people with this pathology already have metastasis at time of diagnosis.

What happens at stage 4 of bowel cancer?

Stage 4 colon cancer is a highly advanced form of cancer. The malignant process in such an abnormality spreads to the entire intestine, actively metastasizes, and affects the lymphatic system and nearby organs. The fourth stage of the disease often does not respond to radical treatment methods, so sparing techniques are used.

Aggressively growing, affecting adjacent organs, stage 4 colon cancer can be located in any part of the large intestine, including the rectum, cecum, sigmoid colon, sometimes in the transition site of sigmoid to the rectum.

Intestinal tumours at the first or second stage of development can be treated quite successfully. Such patients have a favourable prognosis. As soon as there are alarming symptoms, immediately contacting a doctor is worth it straight away. At the 4th stage, however, the disease rarely goes into remission. It is impossible to predict how long people live at this stage. The prognosis depends on the age, the patient’s health condition, and the adequacy of treatment.

Treatment methods that can help

Fighting advanced bowel cancer takes time and the treatment must be carried out in several stages. Traditional methods of colon cancer treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

In cases where cancer has spread, surgical treatment may involve removing most of the intestine. As a result, the surgeon forms a colostomy – taking the intestine to the peritoneal wall with a colostomy bag attached to the intestine. Sometimes chemotherapy can be used for an inoperable tumour in order to eliminate the obstruction and relieve the patient’s symptoms.

Radiotherapy is primarily used in preparation for a surgical intervention, slowing down the spread of cancer cells. Along with radiotherapy, chemotherapy is used to reduce the size of the neoplasm, slows down the process, and facilitates surgical intervention.

The combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is the most effective treatment for bowel cancer at stage 4. During the treatment, active drugs, and irradiation slow down the progression of the disease. Combination treatment should be provided individually and with intervals to allow the body to recover.

The main goals of treatment of advanced colon cancer are:

  • Slowing the growth of neoplasms
  • Destruction of cancer cells
  • Elimination of metastases
  • Reducing the size of the tumour

It is important to note that conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be natural stress for the body weakened by the disease. Therefore, the treatment often causes various adverse reactions, including stool disorders, vomiting, nausea, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, and numbness of the extremities.

You also need to understand that none of the methods can guarantee complete recovery during the fourth stage of the disease since the internal organs have already been affected.

More information about bowel cancer stage 4 treatment is available on the Booking Health website.

The prognosis for survival in stage 4 colon cancer

The tumour that has affected the colon at stage 4 offers an almost relatively small chance of a favourable prognosis. Twenty-five percent of bowel cancer patients have distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. The survival rate depends on the patient’s overall immunity, age, lifestyle habits, and other factors. The patient will hear a disappointing prognosis from the oncologist in the following cases:

  • If the neoplasm has metastasized to more than five lymph nodes or metastases are found in vital organs (liver, lungs)
  • If there is damage to organs due to the size of the tumour
  • If there was a recurrence
  • If radiation therapy and chemotherapy did not bring the desired effect

How to start bowel cancer stage 4 treatment during a lockdown?

The fourth oncology stage should be addressed responsibly, and treatment abroad is the best way to do so. And even though the lockdown has imposed travel restrictions, going abroad to treat stage 4 bowel cancer is still possible.

Booking Health can make it possible with little worry on your end. Most importantly, Booking Health helps you choose a suitable medical facility among the best hospitals in the world. The success of treatment largely depends on the choice of a hospital, and its specialization.

Check out the list of the best hospitals in the world on the Booking Health website and leave a request if you want to start treatment in a specific medical facility.

article supplied and sponsored by bookinghealth.com

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