Colon cancer treatment

Our patients work with their care team to develop a colon cancer treatment plan. The plan addresses the medical concerns and preferences of each patient.

Colon cancer treatment options

These options may be a part of your colon cancer treatment plan.

Colon cancer chemotherapy

Colon cancer chemotherapy uses drugs given by mouth or injection to kill cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy may shrink tumors or polyps before surgery. This can help ensure a successful surgery.
  • After surgery for colon cancer, chemotherapy may help ensure the cancer is gone.
  • Chemotherapy may also help relieve symptoms of advanced colon cancer.


Surgery for colon cancer treatment includes many methods.

  • Colon resection removes some or all of the colon. When the colon and rectum are removed, it's called a proctocolectomy. Resections can be done with an open approach or laparoscopically.
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is when a tiny microscope is used to remove polyps or, in some cases, early stage tumors from the rectum. Instead of cutting through the skin, the surgeon operates with instruments placed into the anus.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high powered X-rays or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells. Colon cancer treatments that involve radiation therapy include:

  • External radiation therapy sends cancer-killing rays into the body from a machine outside the body.
  • Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) places a radioactive seed inside the body, near the cancer. This pares the normal tissue and surrounding organs from damage.

Dealing with cancer treatment side effects

Cancer treatment can cause many side effects. Here's how to deal with some common side effects.

Cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema therapy

Whether you are a cancer survivor or are undergoing cancer treatment, you may face symptoms that interfere with daily life. Our cancer rehabilitation team can help you overcome:

  • weakness
  • inability to exercise/fitness
  • difficulty with balance or walking
  • thinking and memory problems
  • tight or painful muscles and joints
  • difficulty with daily living tasks
  • difficulty with hand dexterity
  • swelling (edema)

For an appointment, call 612-863-8947.

Cancer research

Participating in a clinical trial may help you take a more active role in your health care. You may also gain access to new drugs, treatments and disease management practices.

What You Need to Know about Surgery online manual