Surgery for Advanced Colorectal Cancer

There are many different factors that affect surgery for advanced colorectal cancer because it may have spread to other parts of the body. 

Tumors may also be blocking the colon. In this case, surgery may be done to relieve the blockage without removing the part of the colon containing the cancer. Instead, the colon is cut above the tumor and attached to a stoma (an opening in the skin of the abdomen) to allow stool to come out. This is called a diverting colostomy. It can often help the patient recover enough to start other treatments (such as chemotherapy).

If the cancer has spread to only one or a few spots in the lungs or liver (and nowhere else), surgery may be used to remove it. In most cases, this is only done if the cancer in the colon is also being removed (or was already removed). Depending on the extent of the cancer, this might help the patient live longer, or it could even cure the cancer. Deciding if surgery is an option to remove areas of cancer spread depends on their size, number, and location of tumors.

If surgery can be performed, most often other treatment will also be utilized such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or precision medicine, and other treatments.