6.4 Treatment

6.4 Treatment

Treatment will depend on the location, extent of recurrent or residual disease, previous management and the patient’s preferences.

In managing people with colorectal cancer, treatment may include these options:

  • surgery
  • radiation therapy (including SABR)
  • drug therapy (including chemotherapy and targeted therapy)
  • locoregional therapies (including focal ablation and transarterial chemoembolisation).

In managing people with colorectal cancer, treatment programs have recently become more complex, with more effective chemotherapy and major surgical programs being offered to patients with potentially curable recurrent cancer including immunotherapy for microsatellite unstable colorectal cancers; however, therapy may focus on disease control or palliation, based on the extent of disease and the patient’s general health, preferences and values.

The potential goals of treatment should be discussed, respecting the patient’s cultural values. Wherever possible, written information should be provided.

Encourage early referral to clinical trials or accepting an invitation to participate in research.