Stage 4 colon cancers have spread from the colon to distant organs like the liver. The cancer can also spread to the lungs, brain and the lining of the abdominal cavity which is known as the peritoneum.
In the case of stage 4 colon cancer conducting surgery is very unlikely. In cases where there are only a few areas where the cancer has spread to the liver or lungs surgery maybe done. Surgery can make a person live longer and may even cure the person. During surgery, the section of the colon that has been affected by cancer is removed along with the nearby lymph nodes and other areas to which the cancer has spread to.
Chemotherapy is given before surgery and or after surgery. Sometimes,hepatic artery infusion is given when the cancer has spread to the liver. A hepatic artery infusion is a procedure where in chemo is given directly into the hepatic artery.
If the tumors cannot be removed because they are too big, Chemotherapy might be given before surgery and the tumor shrinks,then surgery may be conducted to remove the tumor. Sometimes surgery might also be needed if the tumor is blocking the colon. Surgery in this case can also be avoided by putting a stent, which is hollow metal or plastic tube into the colon during a colonoscopy. If not, operations such as a colostomy may be used.
Read more on what is colon cancer here.
Treatment for metastatic colon cancer
Metastasis is known as the spread of cancer cells to other organs. This is commonly seen in patients with advanced colon cancer and the cancer spreads to distant organs like the liver, lungs, brain and peritoneal cavity which is the lining of the abdominal cavity. Metastatic colon cancer can be treated with Chemotherapy, which is known to be the standard treatment for metastatic colon cancer, apart from Chemotherapy, treatments like radiation therapy and targeted therapy can also be given.
Prognosis of stage 4 colon cancer
People with metastatic or stage four colon cancer have a 5 year survival rate of 12 percent.