Treatment

Here is Premier Health’s commitment to your patients with colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer we treat at Premier Health. If you have colon or rectal cancer, our cancer specialists will work together with you to design a personalized treatment plan.

We provide high quality, patient-focused care with advanced technology, innovative programs, experienced caregivers and screening facilities conveniently located throughout Southwest Ohio.

We’ll consider the type, size, and stage of your colorectal cancer, plus your age and overall health, to recommend one or more of the following treatment strategies:

  • Surgery to remove the primary (main) cancer tumor or other tumors
  • Chemotherapy/radiation therapy to kill or stop the growth or spread of cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy/radiation therapy to prevent or delay your cancer's return
  • Symptom management for pain or other cancer-related symptoms

How We Treat Colorectal Cancer

Our focus is always on your individual needs and experience. We can draw on the expertise of our Premier Health Multidisciplinary Treatment Conference, where specialists from the cancer care team meet to review and discuss your medical condition and treatment options. If the team wants additional review and input, we can present your case to the MD Anderson Multidisciplinary Planning Conference.

We may use one or more of the following treatment options as we treat your cancer. We’ll also be there to listen to you and help you and your family cope with the emotional and psychological impact of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Surgery

Surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and cancer cells in surrounding tissue is generally the first line of treatment for early stages of colon or rectal cancer.

At Premier Health, we offer traditional surgery as well as advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove your tumor and surrounding lymph nodes. For rectal cancer, we may use robotic-assisted surgery to better visualize the tumor and more precisely remove the tumor while sparing healthy vital structures.

For more advanced stages of cancer, surgery often is part of an effective treatment plan, along with medical therapies and/or radiation therapy. If colorectal cancer has spread to the liver or lung, our surgeons often are able to surgically remove those additional tumors.

Chemotherapy or radiation therapy are sometimes used before surgery if we want to shrink a large tumor and avoid the need for a colostomy.

The lower a tumor is in the rectum, the more likely a colostomy will be needed to divert stool out of your body through your abdomen. It can be a temporary or permanent solution. When a tumor is involved with the anal sphincter (muscle near the anus), the colostomy is generally permanent. In many cases of colorectal cancer, the colostomy can be reversed and normal bowel function restored.

Medical Therapies

Medical therapies often provide additional ways to eradicate cancer cells, either before or after surgery. We have several comfortable outpatient infusion centers where you can receive treatment. In some locations, we offer massage therapy, art therapy, and other services.

At Premier Health, we offer these medical therapies for colon and rectal cancer:

Chemotherapy, which can be given as pills, an injection, or through an IV to stop the growth and spread of colon or rectal cancer cells. We may use this before surgery to shrink your tumor or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. We aggressively treat not only your cancer, but also the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea or pain.

Immunotherapy/biological therapy boosts your immune system to increase your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. It is used when cancer cells have tested positive for specific gene changes.

Tumor-targeted therapy involves analyzing your tumor and selecting a combination of drugs to combat your specific type of colon or rectal cancer. At Premier Health, we offer several variations with multiple combinations, although targeted therapy isn’t an option for every person.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses beams of intense energy to destroy cancer cells. At Premier Health, we offer two main types of radiation therapy for people with colon or rectal cancer. Radiation treatments may be given before or after surgery. Your doctor will talk with you about which approach is best for your unique circumstances.

Radiation therapy options include:

  • 3D Conformal Radiation. This radiation therapy is called external beam radiation and often is used if your tumor has an irregular shape or is located close to healthy tissues and organs. Our newer linear accelerator allows your doctor to see your tumor in three dimensions and sculpt radiation beams to the tumor’s shape, sparing healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. You’ll receive treatments over several days.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Our radiation oncology experts deliver high-energy X-rays from multiple angles to your tumor. A computer performs advanced calculations so a linear accelerator machine can deliver the radiation precisely to the tumor, while limiting damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the cancer. You will receive treatments over multiple days.

To improve the precision and accuracy of IMRT and 3D conformal treatments, Premier Health offers image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), using imaging technology such as CT scans or X-rays during radiation therapy. Our linear accelerator machines are equipped with IGRT imaging technology to image the exact location of your tumor before and during treatment. This allows your doctor to use higher doses of radiation to destroy the cancer and avoid harming healthy tissue nearby.

Interventional Radiology

Our interventional radiologists are specially trained to offer you advanced treatments and procedures for difficult-to-treat tumors using image-guided therapies.

Often referred to as interventional oncology, this treatment is one of the newest and most aggressive options in cancer treatment today. It targets and treats cancers that cannot be treated surgically. Instead, radiologists use extreme heat, cold, or microwave energy to kill tumors. There is a low risk of complications, and many people return home the same day.

Palliative Care

When treatments no longer are effective against cancer, Premier Health offers palliative care to help improve quality of life and ease the symptoms of cancer.

Clinical Trials

Our cancer specialists actively participate in regional, national, and international research networks. Clinical trials provide another option when standard treatments are not working. Our goal is to connect you with the latest advances in cancer care. Talk to your doctor about your clinical trial options and learn more about clinical trials at Premier Health.

Your Colorectal Cancer Care Team

Treating colorectal cancer requires a team approach. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists communicate regularly to discuss your diagnosis, treatment plan, and treatment progress. We have specialized tumor conferences routinely to discuss complex cases.

Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the top-ranked cancer center in the United States.

As an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, Premier Health and our certified cancer specialists routinely discuss challenging cases with experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

If you have an unusual or complex situation, your physician may consult with a cancer expert at MD Anderson to receive input on your case.

A nurse navigator will be your primary point of contact throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, easing your cancer journey by guiding and linking you to additional services and information.

We also have gastroenterologists and pathologists to assist with diagnosis and cancer staging throughout your cancer journey. As needed, we will consult our specialists in wound care and hyperbaric oxygen treatment for optimal tissue healing.

Contact Us

Premier Health offers an extensive network of experienced cancer specialists, close to home, who welcome your referrals. Find a cancer specialist best suited to your patient’s unique needs.

Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.