Colon Cancer

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Management of Metastatic Colon Cancer

Dr. Heather Yeo Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian

If you have stage four, or metastatic, colon cancer, that means your tumor has spread outside of the colon to different organs. In certain cases, tumors that have spread to one or two places within the liver or lung can actually be treated surgically with a chance of cure. For most people, however, the treatment for metastatic disease is chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy has been very well studied for colorectal cancer and is known to improve survival. The most common therapy is called FOLFOX, and your doctor may add medications like irinotecan (FOLFIRI) or cetuximab depending on how well your tumor shrinks with treatment and other specifics about your particular tumor.  For FOLFOX, the medications are given through the vein and require regular doctor visits. The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and numbness in the hands and feet.

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Dr. Heather Yeo is a medical advisor to SurvivorNet. She is board-certified in general surgery, colon and rectal surgery, and complex general surgical oncology. She is an assistant professor of Surgery and Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Read More