There are several forms of rectal cancer treatment. The most common therapies fall into three main categories: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Each patient’s treatment plan will vary based on a number of unique factors, such as the extent and cell type of the tumor being treated. However, most oncologists begin by determining whether a patient is a good candidate for surgery. From there, they can determine which follow-up therapies should be provided (and when) or choose an alternative to surgical treatment.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer a comprehensive range of rectal cancer treatment options in a single, convenient location. Our team provides surgical and nonsurgical options, as well as novel therapies made possible through our robust clinical trials program. The therapies we might recommend for the treatment of colorectal cancers include:
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Traditional surgery
- Single-agent or combination chemotherapy
- External beam radiation therapy
- Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
- Targeted drug therapies
We also offer a comprehensive range of therapies that are designed to help control the symptoms of large or obstructive rectal cancers. For instance, we can use balloon dilation when a tumor is preventing stool from passing properly through the digestive tract, or we can provide prescription medications to alleviate persistent constipation or diarrhea. These therapies, which are provided along with potentially curative options through our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, can help our patients improve their quality of life regardless of which other treatments they decide to pursue.
To help our patients find the right treatments for their needs, we evaluate each person on an individualized basis. We understand that there’s no single rectal cancer treatment that’s right for everybody; that’s why, at Moffitt, a multispecialty team of oncologists comes together to review each patient’s case. After evaluating a number of unique factors, this team recommends the options that are most likely to produce favorable outcomes while limiting the incidence of side effects.