Colon Cancer Treatment

A colon cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but you’re in good hands. Our medical team is here to guide you every step of the way. We provide evidence-based, effective treatments to fight colon cancer. Speak to us to learn more.

Dr Jonathan Foo Shuo Min
Consultant General Surgeon

What is Colon Cancer Treatment?

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, occurs when malignant cells develop in the colon or rectum’s lining. Treatment encompasses a variety of medical interventions tailored to the stage, location, and type of cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health.

The main objective of these treatments is to eliminate the cancer, minimise the risk of recurrence, and preserve the patient’s quality of life during and after treatment.

Types of Colon Cancer Treatment

The primary types of colon cancer treatment include:

Surgery is often the first-line treatment for colon cancer. It involves the removal of the cancerous tissue and surrounding healthy tissue to ensure complete removal. Surgical options include polypectomy, colectomy, and laparoscopic surgery.

Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells or prevent their growth. It can be administered before surgery to shrink the tumour (neoadjuvant) or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant).

High-energy rays are used to destroy cancer cells and prevent their growth. Depending on the patient’s needs, radiation therapy can be applied externally (external beam radiation) or internally (brachytherapy).

Targeted therapy involves using specialised drugs that target the cancer cells, minimising damage to healthy tissues. These medications may be used in conjunction with chemotherapy or other treatments.

Immunotherapy uses the patient’s immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells. It is typically reserved for advanced stages of colon cancer when other treatments have proven ineffective.

Who’s Eligible for Colon Cancer Treatment?

Eligibility for colon cancer treatment depends on factors like cancer stage, patient health, and existing medical conditions. Here are some general guidelines to assess your eligibility:

  • Early-stage cancer (stage I/II): Eligible for surgery, the primary treatment option.
  • Locally advanced cancer (stage III): Surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy to address remaining cancer cells.
  • Metastatic cancer (stage IV): A combination of treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.
  • Overall health: Good general health is necessary for specific treatments, as it influences a patient’s ability to tolerate procedures.
  • Co-existing medical conditions: Certain conditions like heart or lung issues may limit treatment options due to increased risk.

Risks and Complications

Like any medical procedure, colon cancer treatment carries certain risks and complications. It is crucial to weigh the potential benefits against the risks involved. Some common risks and complications include:

  • Infection at the surgical site or internally after surgery
  • Bleeding during or after surgery.
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs post-surgery
  • Allergic reaction to anaesthesia
  • Bowel obstruction or blockage of the intestines
  • Chemotherapy side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue.
  • Radiation side effects such as fatigue, skin irritation, and intestinal discomfort.

Dr Jonathan Foo Shuo Min

Consultant General Surgeon

Dr Jonathan Foo has expertise in managing various General Surgical and Colorectal conditions. He excels at advanced endoscopic, open and minimally invasive (“key-hole”) techniques, as well as robotic surgery.

Dr Foo is a specialist Colorectal surgeon with comprehensive training in other minimally invasive(laparoscopic) General Surgical conditions such as hernia repair and gallbladder surgery.

  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, NUS) 2002
  • MRCSEd (Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh) 2007
  • MMed (Master of Medicine in Surgery) 2008
  • Further Advanced Training At the Minimally Invasive Colorectal Unit in Portsmouth, UK

Dr Foo firmly believes that every surgical procedures must be customized to the individual in order to achieve an optimal outcome for his patients.

Dr Tan Yu-Meng

Director, Consultant General Surgeon

Dr Tan continues to be one of few surgeons in Asia who perform specialized surgery for peritoneal malignancies in Asia.

  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, First Class Honors & Distinction at the University of London) 1994
  • RCSEd (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh) 1999
  • Further training in advanced HPB surgery and liver transplantation at the world renowned Liver Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • Further training in living donor liver transplantation in Japan.

With his interest in gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary-pancreatic (GI-HPB) surgery and the treatment of cancer, Dr Tan joined the department of surgical oncology at the National Cancer Centre in 2003 as a consultant.

Dr Tan’s interest in the management of peritoneal surface malignancies was part of his effort in leading a multidisciplinary team from NCC to Washington Cancer Institute to adopt the techniques and protocols of peritonectomy and HIPEC (Sugarbaker procedure) from Dr Paul Sugarbaker in 2009.

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    Colon Cancer Treatment In Singapore

    Frequently Asked

    Is colon cancer treatment painful?

    Colon cancer treatment can involve surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, which may cause discomfort. Anaesthesia is used during surgery to reduce pain, and your healthcare team will help manage any pain from other treatments to ensure your comfort.

    How long does it take to recover from colon cancer treatment?

    Recovery time from colon cancer treatment varies based on factors like the treatment type, stage of cancer, and the patient’s overall health. Surgery may require 4-8 weeks for recovery, while chemotherapy or radiation therapy can take several months for the body to fully recover and regain strength.

    How often should I undergo screenings and tests after colon cancer treatment to monitor for recurrence?

    Post-treatment screenings for colon cancer recurrence typically include regular check-ups every 3-6 months for the first two years, then every 6-12 months for up to five years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent or specific tests based on individual factors.