The prognosis of metastatic colon cancer is individual. In some cases, the progression of the disease can be slowed with surgery.
Just ten years ago, a diagnosis of colon cancer with liver metastases was considered devastating. If the cancer has already spread, according to… German Cancer Society (DKG) In fact, surgery to treat it is no longer possible. However, study results show that it can stop the disease for a longer period of time.
Surgery if liver metastases do not cause symptoms
If colon cancer has already spread, the chances of complete recovery are poor. This is the case in about one-third of colon cancer patients at the time of diagnosis. Mostly loud DKG experts The lymph nodes, lungs and liver are affected.
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If a patient does well despite liver metastases, surgery for the original tumor may still be worthwhile, such as one published in the specialist journal European Journal of Cancer published Stady With 320 patients. The prerequisite is that liver metastases do not yet cause any symptoms and that the overall tumor burden is low.
For the study, participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group received chemotherapy before surgery (“neoadjuvant chemotherapy”), while participants in the other group underwent surgery immediately. It turns out that the operation can have a positive effect on the course of the disease, especially if chemotherapy was used beforehand. In participants in the first study group, the cancer was kept under control longer and survival was extended.
Sometimes surgery can also be performed for liver metastases
It may also be worth considering surgical resection of liver metastases, as shown by a team of experts led by Professor Karl Szymanski, Clinical Director of the Clinic Darmstadt. In Szymanski's study, all participants survived for an average of five years. The findings also apply to stomach cancer, the authors point out.
However, not all patients can be operated on when their cancer is first diagnosed: the study included people with colon cancer whose liver metastases were inoperable and were therefore treated with chemotherapy. The liver metastases have shrunk so that they can be removed surgically. According to the study authors, this group of patients survived for an average of 66 months after the procedure. For comparison: In metastatic colon cancer, where the metastases cannot be removed, the average survival time is less than three years.
The diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer is individual
How quickly colon cancer develops with liver metastases is high German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Highly individual and depends, among other things, on the following factors:
- How many metastases are there and how big are they?
- Does it affect liver function?
- Are other organs affected besides the intestines and liver?
As an affected person, you should always talk to a specialist about the diagnosis of your individual condition. The expert has all the important information available to evaluate the situation. General information cannot replace this conversation DKFZ.
This article only contains general information about the health topic in question and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not, in any way, replace a visit to a doctor. Our editorial team is not permitted to answer individual questions about medical conditions.
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