Treatment for colon cancer will depend on its severity. Doctors describe colon cancer as having four stages, with Stage I being the least severe and Stage IV being the most severe. In Stage IV, the cancer has metastasized or spread to other organs.
If the cancer is very small and localized, the doctor may be able to perform some type of minimally invasive surgery to remove it. They may even be able to remove the cancer during a colonoscopy.
If the cancer is larger, the surgeon may need to perform a partial colectomy in which they remove the diseased part of the colon. In many cases, they will be able to connect the remaining colon to the bowel so the patient can defecate normally. The surgeon will also often remove neighboring lymph nodes to have them tested for cancer.
If the surgeon finds that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and beyond, they will recommend chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Other possible treatments include immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and a new treatment called proton beam therapy.