There are generally four stages of colon cancer treatment at Vejthani Hospital in Thailand. The initial treatment and diagnosis of polyps that haven’t grown beyond the inner lining of the colon is sometimes considered as stage 0.

Colon cancer treatment proceeds according to four stages, depending on the progression of the cancer.

Stage 1 Colon Cancer Treatment in Thailand

Stage 1 colon cancers have typically grown further into the tissue of the walls of the colon, but have not spread beyond the colon wall or invaded the lymph nodes near the colon. 

Stage 1 offers the most hope for a simple cure. This stage includes cancers that were part of a polyp. If the polyp can be removed entirely and no cancer cells are left on the colon wall, it leads to the best outcome, and no other treatment may be necessary.

However, the doctor will analyze the polyp after the removal. If they determine that it’s a high-grade polyp or there are cancer cells around the edge, it will indicate that some cells may remain in the colon wall, and additional surgery may be called for to remove the remaining cancer cells.

You may also be advised to undergo further surgery if the polyp can’t be removed in one piece from the colon wall or if the surgeon is concerned that any cancer cells were left after the removal.  

For cancers that aren’t in a polyp, the standard colon cancer treatment in Thailand is a partial colectomy. This ensures that the affected section of the colon is removed completely, as well as the nearby lymph nodes that may harbor cancer cells. The surgery offers the best safety margin in ensuring the removal of all remaining cancer cells.

Treatment of Stage 2 Colon Cancer in Thailand

The circumstances of stage 2 colon cancer are that cancer may have penetrated the wall of the colon. It may have spread into nearby tissue, but it hasn’t entered the lymph nodes.

Surgery is still the recommended treatment, a partial colectomy may still be the only treatment needed, but your doctor may also recommend adjuvant chemotherapy following the surgery. Chemotherapy will be advised if they feel that your colon cancer has a high chance of recurring. The doctor may make this recommendation based on several observations, including if the cancer appears to be high grade when viewed in the lab. Other observations are:

Cancer has spread into nearby blood vessels or lymph vessels. The surgeon left some lymph nodes in the colon. The cancer had blocked or perforated the colon. Or, the cancer was found near the edge of the removed tissue, indicating it’s possible that some cancer cells may have been left behind. 

The doctor may also test your tumor for gene changes to help decide whether chemotherapy would be helpful in this situation. The tests are called MSI and MMR.

If chemotherapy is recommended, it’s important that you understand all the risks associated with the therapy, as well as all the side effects.

Treating Stage 3 Colon Cancer in Thailand

Stage 3 colon cancer is indicated when cancer has spread to the lymph nodes but hasn’t yet spread to other areas of the body.

Although surgery is still the most recommended treatment for stage 3 colon cancer, a greater emphasis is put on the adjuvant chemotherapy following the surgery. Typically, the doctor will recommend either a FOLFOX or CapeOx regimen of chemotherapy, but they may get 5-FU based on their health or age needs. 

Radiation therapy may also be necessary for cancers that can’t be totally removed during surgery. And neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be used to shrink a tumor down so it can be removed during a future surgery.

Radiation and chemotherapy alone may also be an option for patients who aren’t considered to be healthy enough for surgery.

Treatment of Stage 4 Colon Cancer in Thailand

Stage 4 colon cancers have spread throughout the body. Colon cancer often spreads to the liver, but it can appear in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), the lungs, brain and lymph nodes in distant parts of the body.

Surgery generally isn’t recommended when cancer has spread this far, but it can help prolong life if metastases can still be removed in the liver and lungs as well as the colon.

If the cancer has spread too much, for surgery to be helpful, chemotherapy is the next best option. Chemo and targeted therapies may help prolong life. The choice over the many options of chemotherapy will be determined by the treatments you’ve had and your overall health. For any colon cancer treatment in Thailand, Vejthani Hospital in Bangkok should be your destination. Please make an appointment with our colon cancer treatment specialists to discuss your best options and get the help you need to fight colon cancer.