my mom has stage 4 colon cancer it spread to most of her intestines can she get radiation treatment?

she had a histerectamy and a tumor removed from her colon

6 comments

  • shelley_gaudreau2000

    Yes she can. According to your Cancer Society.
    Stage IV

    The cancer has spread from the colon to distant organs and tissues such as the liver, lungs, peritoneum, or ovaries.

    In most cases surgery is unlikely to cure these cancers. However, if only a few small metastases are present in the liver or lungs and they can be completely removed along with the colon cancer, surgery may help you live longer and may even cure you. Chemotherapy is typically given as well, before and/or after surgery. In some cases, hepatic artery infusion may be used if the tumors are in the liver.

    If the metastases cannot be surgically removed because they are too large or there are too many of them, chemotherapy may be tried first to shrink the tumors to allow for surgery. Chemotherapy would then be given again after surgery. Another option may be to destroy tumors in the liver with cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, or other non-surgical methods.

    If the cancer is too widespread to try to cure it with surgery, operations such as a colectomy or diverting colostomy (cutting the colon above the level of the cancer and attaching the end to an opening in the skin on the abdomen to allow waste out) may still be used in some cases. This can relieve or prevent blockage of the colon and may prevent other local complications. In some patients with extensive spread of cancer, such surgery can be avoided by inserting a stent (a hollow metal or plastic tube) into the colon during colonoscopy to keep it open.

    If you have stage IV cancer and your doctor recommends surgery, it is very important to understand what the goal of the surgery is — whether it is to try to cure the cancer or to prevent or relieve symptoms of the disease.

    Most patients with stage IV cancer will get chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies to control the cancer. The most commonly used regimens include:

    * FOLFOX (leucovorin [folinic acid], 5-FU, and oxaliplatin)
    * FOLFIRI (leucovorin, 5-FU, and irinotecan)
    * CapeOX (capecitabine and oxaliplatin)
    * Any of the above combinations plus either bevacizumab or cetuximab (but not both)
    * 5-FU and leucovorin, with or without bevacizumab
    * Capecitabine, with or without bevacizumab
    * FOLFOXIRI (leucovorin, 5-FU, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan)
    * Irinotecan, with or without cetuximab
    * Cetuximab alone
    * Panitumumab alone

    The choice of regimens may depend on several factors, including any previous treatments you’ve had and your overall health. If one of these regimens is no longer effective, another may be tried.

    For advanced cancers, radiation therapy may also be used to help prevent or relieve symptoms such as pain. While it may shrink tumors for a time, it is very unlikely to result in a cure. If your doctor recommends radiation therapy, it is important that you understand the goal of treatment.

  • Denisedds

    Radiation is not usually used with stage 4 colon cancer. Is there some reason you believe she should have it? It doesn’t often metastisize to the bone, although it is also rare to have a hysterectomy with this disease, but radiation often helps with bone met pain. Her oncologist is the best source of information.

  • BSherman

    Every patient’s treatment plan is best left to their oncologist. The location of the cancer’s spread, patient’s overall health, previous patient experience with radiation treatment, other concurrent treatments, and a host of other considerations enter into the decision of whether radiation therapy makes sense.

    Learn more about the treatment and prognosis for colon-rectal cancer patients at the attached website.

  • billyvnilly

    If it has metastasized to the rest of the abdominal cavity (called carcinosis) It is not a good sign.

    Radiation would not be the treatment choice. Surgery can de-bulk large tumor masses. Chemotherapy can attempt to eradicate the tumor via the blood stream, but radiation is for targeted spots…think of it as a laser pointer… its only gonna hit one spot. Its good for single tumors, not wide spread disease.

    It could be used to alleviate pain (if she is unfortunate enough to have metastatic disease to her brain or to her spine). But those are probably the only two situations where radiation would be beneficial.

    Chemo and surgery are her options. The first post has good information, but she is misleading when she says it can be uesd.

  • With all colon cancers it depends on the type & extent of the cancer spread.Surgery, radiation & chemo are all good treatments as long as the cancer is localized for often the patient develops blockage of the intestines with the tumor requiring a colostomy or resection to be done to keep the bowels working.If the cancer has spread to other organs, like the liver, stomach, pancreas or lungs (to name just a few) it is not always best for the patient to put the person through major surgery if it will not benefit them.Chemo is the one that causes bad side effects like nausea & vomiting with loss of appetite so you have to proceed with great care with these patients & judge whether it will truly help or make the patient sicker.Radiation can be aimed at a tumor so the side effects do not usually do that.But radiation can not work well if the tumors are many ("spread" kind of indicated there are many tumors in the mesentery to direct the radiation to).You need to discuss her condition with the doctor & the options you have before you proceed.It’s up to your mom to decide what treatment she wants & she will need the family to support her through this.God bless.

  • lollipop

    ONLY her Oncologist can answer this question with honesty and authority. Each person reacts to treatment differently and what has worked for you may not work for me. The answers you get on here is what people have read on the internet or from experiences of other patients. They are not to be used as evidence for what will work for your Mom. It is also possible that a particular treatment will work well for awhile and suddenly the patients develops an allergy to the chemo or they quit responding positive to the treatment. Not a single person can tell what will happen. Sorry, but that is the nature of the beast. Please follow your Oncologist advice and I pray that your Mom will have good results with the chosen treatment.

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