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.
Treating stage four colon cancer is complex. There are good options.
Understanding Your Options With Stage Four Colon Cancer
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer
Chemotherapy After Colon Cancer Recurs