Colon cancer is well treatable and curable in about 6 out of 10 patients. The prerequisite for a cure is that the cancer tissue can be completely cut out or destroyed in some other way. This is most likely to happen if the tumour was discovered at an early stage, when it is still localised and has not metastasised.

In an advanced stage of the disease, the therapies usually serve to remove the cancer as far as possible and to delay further development of the tumour for as long as possible. In this way, many patients can achieve a life with a good quality of life over many years.

In most cases of colorectal cancer, surgery of the colorectal tumor is an important step in the treatment. The subsequent histological examination of the tumour tissue completes the diagnosis with regard to the disease stage and growth behaviour of the tumour. This information flows into the further planning of cancer therapy.

For many patients, chemotherapy is also part of the treatment. In addition, patients with rectal cancer often receive radiation therapy. If metastases have already developed, it is possible to use targeted drugs in addition to chemotherapeutics. Immunotherapy is currently also being intensively researched for colorectal cancer: Initial studies have shown promising results in a certain subgroup of patients (see immune checkpoint inhibitors).

Therapy decision

The diagnosis of bowel cancer is initially a shock for everyone. From one day to the next, you have to deal with a disease about which you usually know nothing. Try to keep a clear head now because important decisions have to be made.

Have a detailed discussion with your doctor: he should discuss the findings, the exact diagnosis and the next steps with you. You should also receive information about the probable course of the disease and the various treatment options – their benefits and risks.

Almost all bowel cancer patients need surgery. An important first step is therefore the choice of a suitable hospital and surgeon to remove their tumour. Today we know that the surgeon has a similar significance for the outcome of the disease as the cancer stage. A qualified and experienced surgeon increases your chances of being cured, as various studies have shown.

Become active yourself and try to find out as much as possible about colorectal cancer. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a second opinion. You should also contact your health insurance company. Many health insurance companies offer special second opinion procedures and further information possibilities.

Disease Stage & Therapy

In most cases of colon cancer, surgery of the colorectal tumor is an important step in the treatment – it is usually a prerequisite for the disease to be cured. The subsequent therapy plan depends, among other things, on the outcome of the operation, i.e. whether the tumour has been completely removed. Whether other therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation, are necessary in addition to the operation also depends on the stage of the disease.

Based on scientific research, doctors have developed standardized procedures for the treatment of colorectal cancer (so-called medical guidelines). However, it must always be borne in mind that every cancer patient has his or her own individual clinical picture. In addition to the cancer stage, the psychological and physical condition as well as any accompanying illnesses play an important role in the choice of therapy. It is therefore possible that in certain cases one deviates from the usual treatment regimen.

If you have any doubts about your doctor’s therapy recommendations, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for a second opinion. You should also contact your health insurance company. Many health insurance companies offer special second opinion procedures and further information possibilities.

In particular, tumour centres or university clinics offer reliable advice in case of a second opinion.

Complementary therapies

Diagnosis of cancer changes lives. Perhaps you have experienced it for yourself: Yesterday one still felt like a whole person, and suddenly the world of experience is reduced to a tumour, which must be fought with all strength. Many people only feel that they are objects that are guided through the strict procedures of modern medicine.

In fact, this is the most common reason why today more than 60 percent of all cancer patients look for other, traditional methods. Not because they are sceptical about modern medicine. They want people to respond to their personal ideas and concerns. Patients in particular, for whom modern medicine can no longer give hope of a cure, seek refuge and hope in alternative methods. However, it cannot be said clearly enough that these methods cannot defeat cancer. Anyone who claims otherwise is wrong – or lies, often enough, because they smell a business in the misery of others.

However, certain methods can complement cancer therapy in a useful way. They help to strengthen body and soul in the fight against the disease. They increase the well-being and thus the quality of life of the patients. They bring inner peace and mobilize reserves of will. Such complementary therapies are recommended as long as they do not harm. In addition to doctors with additional training in naturopathy and serious alternative practitioners, there are unfortunately also many quacks and alleged miracle healers who are after your money and not your health. Never blindly trust outsider methods, especially not when they are expensive or advertised in a blatant manner. Never get involved in diets that promise to “cure cancer”. Be just as critical of alternative approaches to treatment as conventional medicine. Even mistletoe extracts or selenium preparations, which are nowadays also offered in some university clinics as an adjunct to therapy, can cause side effects if used incorrectly.