Colon Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis - A Detailed Guide

When a patient starts experiencing colon cancer symptoms, they must immediately see a doctor for a proper evaluation. The doctor may begin with a physical examination and medical history assessment before any test in order to understand the causes of the symptoms.

If the colon cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor may further proceed with staging. Upon obtaining crucial information like the type of colon cancer, its stage, its grade, its exact location, and the patient’s overall health status, the doctor, along with their team, will devise a personalized colon cancer treatment plan.

Procedures or Tests for Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Oncologists are often asked about how to detect colon cancer at home or through self-tests. It is not possible to detect colon cancer at home, as it requires a battery of specialized tests to be diagnosed accurately. The following are the most recommended tests for colon cancer diagnosis:


Diagnostic Procedures

Imaging Studies


Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the disease has to be staged to understand the extent of its spread. Based on the information obtained through staging, the doctors devise a customized treatment plan for each case. While staging, various factors, such as tumor size, depth of invasion into the colon wall, lymph node involvement, and the presence of distant metastases, are taken into consideration. Stage 0, stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4 are the different stages of colon cancer.

Pathology and Biopsy Analysis

Samples obtained through colonoscopy are sent for a comprehensive laboratory examination. The tissue samples are analyzed under the microscope to determine the presence of cancerous cells.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is also performed on the samples obtained during the biopsy. Genetic testing helps determine the type of gene mutation that has led to the formation of cancer. It is often recommended for patients with advanced colon cancer to identify specific gene mutations to determine their eligibility for targeted therapy.

Consultation and Treatment Planning

Once the screening or diagnostic testing is complete, the doctor consults with the patient and provides an appropriate treatment plan. If the patient is diagnosed with polyps, usually no medication is prescribed.

However, the patient may be advised to undergo scheduled monitoring to constantly check if the polyps have developed into colon cancer.

What are the Effective Colon Cancer Treatments?

The colon cancer treatment plan is created after considering a myriad of factors, starting from the type of cancer, its stage, and grade to the overall health of the patient. Some of the colon cancer treatment options include:

Colon Cancer Surgery

Surgery is the preferred treatment for early-stage colon cancer. The primary goal of surgery is to remove the tumor. Colon cancer surgery may or may not be followed by other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


Palliative Care

Palliative care is recommended for patients with advanced-stage colon cancer. Palliative care aims to manage cancer symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Clinical Trials

Patients who do not show a desirable response to the standard colon cancer treatments may register themselves in clinical trials where they can access new drugs and treatments whose efficacy is yet to be understood.

Patients must know that the clinical trial team prioritizes patient safety and that they are closely monitored throughout the study.

Lastly, clinical trials are not suitable for all patients. The eligibility criteria may vary depending on the objective of the trial and other parameters. Those patients who are interested in enrolling in clinical trials should have a detailed discussion with their expert team.

Why Choose HCG for Colon Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment?

HCG is one of the leading comprehensive cancer treatment hospitals in India, with all the facilities available for effectively diagnosing and treating colon cancer. The center is equipped with advanced diagnostic facilities that assist oncologists with accurate colon cancer diagnoses. As one of the best colon cancer treatment hospitals in India, HCG houses advanced treatment facilities to administer modern treatments like immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and minimally invasive surgeries as a part of colon cancer treatment.


Several screening and diagnostic tests are available for colon cancer diagnosis. Those who already have polyps will need monitoring, as these tend to become cancerous over time. Those identified as high-risk individuals need to pay extra attention to their health and opt for regular screening to reduce their overall colon cancer risk.

As far as treatment is concerned, oncologists devise colon cancer treatment based on stage, grade, the exact location of the tumor, and the overall health status of the patient. While early-stage cancers can be treated effectively with less complex treatment plans, stage 2 colon cancer treatment, stage 3 colon cancer treatment, and stage 4 colon cancer treatment include a combination of various treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, it is not possible for you to check yourself for colon cancer. However, you may look for its signs and symptoms. If you start experiencing any alarming symptoms that do not go away with medications and are persistent, you must see a doctor for a proper evaluation. The doctor may recommend multiple tests before confirming a colon cancer diagnosis.

When a patient presents with symptoms, the doctor will thoroughly examine the patient, and if colon cancer is suspected, they may recommend various tests to confirm the same. The different diagnostic tests recommended for colon cancer include colonoscopy, biopsy, imaging tests, and blood tests. For colon cancer diagnosis, doctors also recommend a stool test for colon cancer DNA analysis and a fecal occult blood test (FOBT).

Colon cancer usually occurs in people over 50 years of age. However, those identified as high-risk individuals should talk to their doctor and follow the screening recommendations shared by them. High-risk individuals are those who have one or more of the following colon cancer risk factors:

  • A family history of colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption

Early-stage colon cancer can be treated completely. However, there may be chances of recurrence; therefore, it is important for patients to adhere to the follow-up guidelines shared by the expert team after their treatment.

Not all colon cancer cases are the same. Each case will need a personalized approach, and therefore, it is not possible to identify one treatment as the most common one.

For each colon cancer case, the doctors will thoroughly evaluate the case and come up with a personalized treatment plan, which may involve one treatment or multiple treatments depending on the type, stage, and grade of the tumor along with the patient’s overall health status.

Different treatments available for colon cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Chemotherapy for colon cancer is an effective management therapy. It may be used alone or in combination with surgery and radiation therapy in order to enhance the overall treatment efficacy.

Today, we have advanced treatment approaches available with which we are able to manage stage 4 colon cancer and improve the quality of life for patients. Achieving remission may be challenging in cases of stage 4 colon cancer; however, it is possible to prolong survival by slowing down the disease's progression. For more information on how stage 4 colon cancer is managed, one must talk to a specialist.

Imaging scans like CT, MRI, and PET, blood tests for specific tumor markers, and a biopsy may be recommended to determine the stage of colon cancer.

Radiation therapy is more effective when the disease is in its early stages than in its advanced stages. Radiation therapy for colon cancer has better outcomes when it is combined with surgery or chemotherapy.

Yes, robotic surgery may successfully treat colon cancer with fewer complications than traditional open surgery. However, not all colon cancer cases can be treated with robotic surgery, and patients must talk to their doctor to know if robotic surgery is the right treatment option.

Treatment for metastatic or stage 4 colon cancer is often multimodal, i.e., a care plan involving multiple treatment options. Depending on individual case parameters, stage 4 colon cancer may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy. Some patients may opt for clinical trials too. Lastly, if the disease is terminal, palliative care may be recommended for symptom management.