Colorectal Cancer Immunotherapy

Is there colorectal cancer immunotherapy?

Many people falsely believe that cancer is a primarily genetic condition, but colon cancer discredits that line of thinking handily. The overwhelming majority of people with colorectal cancer acquired the disease through lifestyle choices or old age. So, is there colorectal cancer immunotherapy?

Although this disease is largely the result of environmental factors, treating colon cancer is difficult. Many methods of treating colon cancer exist, but among those many simply are not worth the effort. Immunotherapy provides one of the best ways imaginable to treat colorectal cancer. Its relative ease of use and strength against advanced colon cancer make this the preferred method of treatment.

The symptoms of colon cancer

The symptoms of colon cancer are often less apparent than for many other forms of cancer. Constipation and pain in the abdomen are usually present, but many patients may not have these symptoms. Weight loss is a very common symptom due to the inability to pass food through the intestines.

Overall, the symptoms of colon cancer will not debilitate the patient, but the complications of colon cancer can have serious consequences for patients. Starvation and dehydration are frequently observed outcomes among colon cancer patients.

The treatment options available for colorectal cancer

There are a number of treatment options available for treating colorectal cancer. Surgery is one of the most common methods used to fight colon cancer, but it requires invasive procedures many may not want to deal with. Radiation therapy is sometimes used to treat colon cancer as well. These methods are simply not as effective as immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy produces the most effective results against colorectal cancer. Like every other form of cancer, colon cancer is primarily a disease of abnormal cell growth. The presence of these tumors within the colon means that doctors must find a way to kill the tumors, but this is simply not something doctors can do without finding a way to suppress the immune system.

Immunosuppressants are highly effective against colon cancer because cell growth requires important functions derived from the immune system. Unfortunately, there are serious side effects results from the use of immunotherapy.

The side effects of immunotherapy

The use of immunotherapy is effective against colon cancer, but it tends to produce some negative side effects. Suppressing the immune system stops the growth of cancer cells, but it also prevents the production of healthy tissue as well. This means many patients with colon cancer will end up losing important functions such as wound healing.

Besides the general side effects of immunotherapy, many of the most commonly used immunotherapy medications have their own side effects.

Colon cancer has a tendency to spread beyond its home in the intestines. The potentially lethal outcomes associated with this often force doctors to choose options such as fluorouracil. Fluorouracil has the ability to fight colon cancer as it spreads to other parts of the body, but its tendency to lower blood cell counts makes it a risky option.

Doctors almost never use medications this strong unless they absolutely need to put forth their best efforts.

How immunotherapy affects prognosis

The 5-year survival rate for colon cancer is below 60%. If a patient does not receive treatment, the odds of survival are incredibly slim. However, early immunotherapy can greatly improve this outcome and give patients a much longer life expectancy.

The relatively painless symptoms of colorectal cancer can make it difficult for doctors to properly identify which patients actually have colon cancer in order to help them. Early detection of colon cancer makes a big difference here.

One of the few things absolutely nobody can deny about immunotherapy is the effectiveness of immunotherapy against advanced colon cancer. When colon cancer reaching its most advanced stage, metastasis, immunotherapy drugs are generally the only way to manage the condition from that point. Colorectal cancer is generally a disease of old age and its outcome is usually a rapid descent towards the end of life.

Doctors are generally more concerned with managing the disease than they are with trying to find a way to cure it. Immunotherapy provides a way to handle the condition without invasive surgeries or other management methods that might require extreme efforts to implement.

Last Reviewed:
August 17, 2017
Last Updated:
October 20, 2017