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Bowel cancer health centre

Select a topic to explore more.

Treatment & care

Get the facts on bowel cancer treatment.

Treatment

After a bowel cancer diagnosis, the next step is to determine the best course of treatment.

Treatment for rectal cancer will usually depend on how advanced the cancer is and the person's overall health.

Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment for colon cancer. 

Ileocolic resection and right hemicolectomy are surgical procedures that may be carried out for bowel cancer.

Learn about preparing for bowel cancer surgery and what to expect.

Chemotherapy drugs may be recommended to help kill bowel cancer cells.

Radiotherapy uses radiation to target cancer cells and may be an option as a bowel cancer treatment.

Treatments for bowel cancer will depend on the stage it has reached.

Ileostomy and colostomy are procedures that may be recommended after bowel surgery.

Biological treatments, or targeted therapies, are a newer way of treating bowel cancer that may be recommended in some cases.

A total colectomy is an operation to remove the colon but not the rectum.

Depending on how far bowel cancer has spread, an operation to remove the anus, rectum and part of the large bowel may be recommended.

Hartmann's procedure, also sometimes called a proctosigmoidectomy, is an operation to remove part of the sigmoid colon and/or the rectum.

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