The prime goal of the surgery is to try and get rid of all
the cancer cells in the bowel. However, this depends on the stage and the size
of the cancer, as well as the patient’s strength and ability to make it through
such a surgery. And while some people will have their cancer completely removed
with a high probability that it will never return this won’t be possible for
others. Sometimes the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, suggesting that some
of the cancer cells are bound to end up in another part of the body. The surgeon will not be able to determine this until he starts operating. In case this happens, there are follow up treatments which can try to prevent this from
happening. But if the cancer has in fact spread to other parts of the body,
such as liver or lungs, it is not very likely that it will ever be completely
For this kind of patient, the goal is to keep the disease under control for as long as possible and enable them to lead a somewhat normal life. This is achieved through chemotherapy or radiotherapy, since there is no need for this person to undergo such a major, complicated procedure, unless, of course, the bowel cancer is causing some problems which will best be solved with removing as much of it as possible.Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy is not likely to be used to treat the cancer of the large bowel. It is mostly considered as treatment before and after the surgery for rectal cancer. It is sometimes used in combination with chemotherapy, whether it is to decrease the size of the tumor before the surgery or because a major surgery may not be required in certain cases after all.
Chemotherapy is most commonly used to take care of the cancer cells which are still lingering after the surgery. This happens when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or some other nearby tissue.The final thing that is important to remember is that, even if the cancer has been completely removed it is vital to have regular check-ups. At first, they are as frequent as every couple of months but if everything is in order they become rarer.