Benefits of mCRC Treatments

mCRC treatments are medications or procedures used to alleviate the symptoms of metastatic colorectal cancer. mCRC is a more serious case of bowel cancer where the polyps or tumours are not only found in the large bowel but also in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer in other places is called metastasis—thus, the term mCRC.

You may ask, how does CRC develop into mCRC? It happens when polyps grow into the wall of the large bowel. From the innermost layer or mucosa, they grow outward to the other layers of the colon and rectum. These cancer cells in the wall also grow into the lymph vessels, which carry away waste and fluid. That’s how cancer spreads to the distant organs of the body such as the liver and lungs.

mCRC can be avoided if detected at an early stage when the cancer is still found within the large bowel. Nearly everyone with bowel cancer survives when the condition is diagnosed early. The tumours are removed via surgery, and in some cases, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy may be necessary to prevent them from coming back.

Treating the condition

There’s no current treatment to cure mCRC. Nevertheless, there are mCRC treatments today that aim to stop the spreading of cancer and relieve the symptoms.

Surgery that removes the cancer is the most common primary treatment for all stages of metastatic colorectal cancer. Radiofrequency ablation can also be used. A probe with electrodes is inserted directly through the patient’s skin or through an abdominal incision and is used to kill cancer cells.

Doctors generally recommend patients to undergo chemotherapy with biologic therapies, radiotherapy, and surgery. They prescribe or administer drugs which control the growth and spreading of cancer cells.

Since every patient is unique, physicians use targeted therapies. Through RAS biomarker tests, they can identify and personalise mCRC treatments for specific patients. Through this test, they also predict responsiveness to the specific medications and treatments.

Benefits of treatment

While mCRC treatments are largely palliative—which means that they can relieve the symptoms of the condition but can’t completely cure it—they are better than getting no treatment at all. Left undetected and untreated, mCRC can lead to death. Treatments can dramatically improve the quality of the patient’s life and help them live longer. They can keep cancer under control for years, especially if its spread is limited.

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