Reference Radiation therapy Opens New Window uses X-rays to destroy colorectal cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is often used to treat rectal cancer, usually combined with surgery. It is used less often to treat colon cancer. It may also be combined with Reference chemotherapy Opens New Window.
Radiation may be given:
- Externally, using a machine outside the body that points a beam of radiation at the tumor.
- Internally, by placing tiny radioactive "seeds" next to or into the cancer.
Compared to surgery alone, radiation given before surgery may reduce the risk that rectal cancer will return and may help you live longer.Reference 6
People sometimes use Reference complementary therapies along with medical treatment to help relieve symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments. Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:
- Reference Acupuncture to relieve pain.
- Reference Meditation or Reference yoga to relieve stress.
- Reference Massage and Reference biofeedback to reduce pain and ease tension.
- Reference Breathing exercises for relaxation.
Mind-body treatments like the ones listed above may help you feel better. They can make it easier to cope with cancer treatments. They also may reduce chronic low back pain, joint pain, headaches, and pain from treatments.
Before you try a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies. Complementary therapies are not meant to take the place of standard medical treatment, but they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
You may be interested in taking part in research studies called Reference clinical trials. Clinical trials are based on the most up-to-date information and are designed to find better ways to treat people who have cancer. People who do not want standard treatments or are not cured by standard treatments may want to take part in clinical trials. These are ongoing in most parts of the United States and in some other countries around the world for all stages of colorectal cancer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal