New Approach to Treatment of Rectal Cancer Helps Eliminate Need for Colostomy

May 2, 2008

A treatment plan for rectal cancer that includes the administration of chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery rather than following it has been shown to allow the sphincter to be saved in about three times more cases. As B. O. Jose, MD, radiation oncologist with the Cancer Center of Indiana explained, “Upfront chemotherapy and radiation can be used to make the malignant mass smaller so less tissue must be removed during surgery. The sphincter is the ring of strong muscle tissue that controls the passage of feces to the outside of the body. Preserving it can eliminate the need for the individual to have a colostomy, which is a great quality of life advancement for patients.”

“This new approach preserves the sphincter in three times more cases, and preserving it can eliminate the need for a colostomy. That is a great quality of life advancement for patients.”

B. O. Jose, MD
Board Certified Radiation Oncologist
Cancer Center of Indiana