Colorectal cancer can be treated in a number of ways, or a combination of:
Most patients with a colorectal cancer will need surgery which can be provided at Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital, or more specialist surgery can be provided at the Belfast City Hospital.
Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer is given at Laurel House at Antrim Area Hospital.
Radiotherapy for colorectal can only be given in the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.
Your doctors will tell you about the benefits, risks and side-effects of the treatments being offered.
Each person is different and your surgery and/or treatment will be tailored to your needs and discussed fully with you before proceeding. Throughout your care, procedures, surgery and treatment will not be carried out without your consent.
Usually the surgery performed for colorectal cancer is a bowel resection, which involves removing the affected part and then rejoining the bowel. Some patients may require a stoma formed during this operation (the surgeon will make a knot in the bowel and from which waste is removed via a colostomy bag). A stoma care nurse looks after patients who have had a stoma formed.
The stoma care nurse will educate and support patients and their families when they undergo this type of surgery. Support will be given prior to your surgery, whilst you are in hospital and when you return home.
In many cases colorectal cancer can be cured in this way with no need for further treatment. In some cases, patients may require chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy after surgery.
For more information on the specific treatment for each colorectal cancer, please visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.
Stoma care nurse, Antrim Area Hospital, Telephone: 028 9442 4000 Ext 4437 Bleep 5109
Stoma care nurse, Causeway Hospital, Telephone: 028 7034 6264
After treatment is completed, patients will have regular check-ups. These are very important for the surgeon or oncologist to monitor patient progress.
Patients should go to their GP for advice if they have a symptom between follow-up visits they cannot explain which last more than a week or is not getting better.