Patients & Visitors

Colorectal

Additional Treatment Options

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Radiotherapy

Some, but not all patients, have a course of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is given to the affected part of your body by powerful X-rays, this only takes a few minutes to do, over a number of days.

Radiotherapy aims to shrink the cancer, and may even destroy it. It can also provide relief from pain even when it is not possible to remove the actual cancer.

If you have a long course of radiotherapy your operation will be delayed until 6-8 weeks after you finish this treatment. This is to allow time for the cancer to shrink. However, if you have a short course of radiotherapy your operation will be the following week. The choice of a long or short course will be explained before treatment starts.

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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment to kill cancer cells. It can be given by injection, by drip or even in tablet form. Contrary to popular opinion it does not necessarily, make you very sick or make your hair fall out.

The oncologist will discuss the possible side effects with you before you start your treatment. Chemotherapy will either be given on its own, with the radiotherapy or after surgery.

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Stent

Your doctor may suggest that you have a small tube, called a colonic stent, inserted into your back passage instead of having an operation.

This is to prevent your bowel becoming blocked. This treatment is carried out in the X-ray department and entails you staying in hospital for 1-2 nights.

After this procedure you will need to take lactulose syrup on a permanent basis to prevent constipation, this will be prescribed by your GP.


Next Section: Preparing for your Operation





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