Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the type and size of the cancer, and your age, general health and treatment preferences. The most common treatment for colorectal cancer is surgery, which may be provided alongside chemotherapy, radiation therapy or targeted therapies.
The surgical procedure used to treat colorectal cancer is a colorectal resection (colectomy), which involves the removal of all or part of the colon. The two techniques for a colectomy include:
- Open colectomy – where the surgeon makes a large incision through the skin and abdominal wall to remove a section of the colon
- Laparoscopic (keyhole) colectomy – a less invasive procedure where the surgeon makes a number of small incisions in your abdomen and uses special instruments guided by a camera to remove a section of colon
While both techniques are effective at removing cancer, laparoscopic surgery is now the routine technique used for colorectal resection, providing advantages including reduced blood loss, postoperative pain and wound infection, a faster recovery from surgery and shorter hospital stay.