Font Size
A
A
A
...
9
...

Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent (cont.)

Medications

Chemotherapy is the use of medicines to control cancer's growth or relieve symptoms. The medicines may be given through a needle in your vein, as pills you can swallow, or as a shot (injection).

For colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver, researchers are studying hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy. This delivers medicines directly to the liver.

Several medicines are used to treat metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer. Other medicines are also available to treat side effects, such as nausea.

Medication Choices

The most commonly used medicines for the treatment of colorectal cancer are:

Cancer medicines are often used in combination. For example, a treatment called FOLFOX4 uses oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and fluorouracil, while the treatment called FOLFIRI uses folic acid, fluorouracil, and irinotecan. There are several of these specific combinations.

Cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab (Vectibix) may be used for colorectal cancer that has spread and has not improved during or after treatment with other drugs. These kinds of medicines, called monoclonal antibodies, may not work for some people. So before you have this treatment, your tumor tissue will be checked for certain gene changes (mutations).

Your doctor may prescribe medicines to control nausea and vomiting. These medicines include:

Clinical trials that test new drugs are ongoing. Talk with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial.

What To Think About

Medicines may not cure metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer. But they can help you feel better and live longer by slowing the cancer's growth.

Talk to your doctor about medicines to help you manage pain and other symptoms that may accompany cancer. For more information, see the topic Cancer Pain.

Next Page:
...
9
...

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary