Colorectal Cancer (Bowel Cancer) Treatments



Chemotherapy uses medicines to kill cancer cells. There are three main ways chemotherapy is used to treat colorectal cancer: before surgery to shrink the tumour (often in combination with radiotherapy), after surgery to reduce the risk of cancer returning, and during palliative care, to help slow the advance of the cancer.

Chemotherapy is given through the mouth (orally) or the vein (intravenously). Chemotherapy can cause unpleasant side effects, including fatigue, nausea and hair loss. These can usually be well controlled with medicines and will usually go away once treatment has finished.

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