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Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp inside the colon or rectum. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. 

General Information About Colon Cancer


Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.

General Information About Rectal Cancer


Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.

Screening for Bowel Cancer

In Ireland – a BowelScreen Test Kit is offered free to men and women aged 60-69 by The National Bowel Screening Programme
This is a test you carry out in your own home.

You can also purchase the kit from PrivaPath Diagnostics

Other countries:
Test kits may be supplied by your Health Service or can be purchased in pharmacies and online.

Oncotype DX® Colon Cancer Assay
Article source: Oncotypedx
Test available from: Oncotypedx

The Oncotype DX® Colon Cancer Assay quantifies recurrence risk in stage II and stage III colon cancer, beyond traditional qualitative measures. This enables an individualized approach to treatment planning. The Oncotype DX test measures a group of cancer genes in the tumor, providing a quantitative Recurrence Score® result beyond traditional measures so physicians and patients can have a more complete discussion of recurrence risk.

The Oncotype DX® Recurrence Score® result, when combined with mismatch repair status and T-stage, provides an individualized, quantitative and reproducible assessment of recurrence risk to help guide treatment decision-making for patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer.

Non-standard treatment options

Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews etc)
This prospective, observational study of 826 eligible patients with stage III colon cancer concluded:

Diets with a higher consumption of nuts may be associated with a significantly reduced incidence of cancer recurrence and death in patients with stage III colon cancer.

This study followed 453 stage II colon cancer patients over a two year period following diagnosis. The study authors concluded:

In this study, stage II colon cancer patients who received chemotherapy treatment were more likely to have poor quality of life, recurrence, and all-cause mortality after 24 months compared to those who did not receive chemotherapy.

Watch-and-Wait Appears Safe and Feasible for Some Patients with Rectal Cancer

This 2020 study followed 95 rectal cancer patients who had a complete response to standard treatment – neoadjuvant chemoradiation, surgery, and adjuvant chemotherapy (nCRT ). It says there is evidence that surgery can be deferred in patients with complete response to nCRT, a strategy termed “watch-and-wait”.

Of the 95 patients, 53 patients underwent “watch-and-wait” and 42 patients had surgery. Median follow-up was 35 months.

The 3-year overall survival in the surgery group was 100% vs 88% in the “watch-and-wait” group,
rectal cancer-specific survival was 100% in the surgery group vs 95% in the “watch-and-wait” group,
and freedom from nonregrowth recurrence was 92% in the surgery group vs 85% in the “watch-and-wait” group.

The study concluded: “watch-and-wait” in lieu of surgery appears to be a safe and feasible treatment approach for patients achieving complete response to standard treatment.

Anti-parasite drug, nitazoxanide (NTZ)
Source: Labiotech.eu

A group from the University of Bergen have been testing hundreds of drugs to see how they affect cancer cells. They have now found a drug taken to treat intestinal parasites, Giardia and tapeworms, which acts as a tailored medicine against prostate and colon cancer. A widely used anti-parasite drug, nitazoxanide (NTZ), is able to break down a protein called beta-catenin, which is found at high levels in prostate and colon cancer cells and supports their growth and survival. This opens up the possibility of repurposing the drug for the treatment of these cancers.

Vitamins C and K3
This study
concluded Vitamins C and K3 have significant antiproliferative and apoptotic (cell death) effects when used in combination. This combination enhances the efficacy of gemcitabine against bladder cancer in humans.

Probiotics (Bifidobacteria)
This study concluded: Overall, considering the effects on both the cancer and normal cell lines, Bifidobacteria cocktail is the most efficient treatment, compared to other bacterial combinations used in this study. This potential probiotic has considerable “protective” anti-cancer properties comparable to the already in use drugs cetuximab and trastuzumab and is able to concomitantly down regulate EGFRHER-2 and PTGS-2 (COX-2) onco-markers and significantly ameliorate disease activity index, restore colon length, inhibit the increase in tumor incidence and prevent the progress of tumors to higher stages and grades.

In general, this potential probiotic could be considered as a suitable nutritional supplement to be used along with the drugs cetuximab and trastuzumab to treat and prevent CRC [colorectal cancer].

Chaga Mushrooms
In some studies, Chaga demonstrates selective apoptosis in tumor cells with no effects on healthy cells. Chaga extract has inhibitory and proapoptotic effects against colon cancer.
See Chaga Mushrooms

Mistletoe (Iscador)
Many studies involve using Mistletoe as adjuvant therapy in patients with cancer. One retrospective cohort study done in Europe between 1993 and 2000 looked at the use of a mistletoe extract (Iscador) as long-term adjuvant therapy in 800 patients treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for colorectal cancer that had not spread. The study found that patients treated with Iscador had fewer adverse events, better symptom relief, and improved disease-free survival compared to patients who did not receive Iscador as adjuvant therapy.
See Mistletoe

According to the National Cancer Institute, Ipilimumab is approved to treat:

Colorectal cancer in adults and children 12 years and older.
It works by helping the body to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.

An anti-biotic that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It promotes apoptosis by inducing various apoptotic factors and suppresses the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that plays an important role in angiogenesis.

Furthermore, taurolidine seems to reduce established lung metastases in in vivo model. Taurolidine may offer additional therapeutic options in patients with colon adenocarcinoma.
See Taurolidine

This study, published in the European journal of Cancer states:
In a randomised study 108 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, average 61.2 years, were included. 54 patients were treated with Ukrain as monotherapy and 54 with 5-fluororacil. The therapy results (clinical, haematological, immunological, biochemical) show that Ukrain has favourable properties in the treatment of colorectal cancer and clearly show advantages in contrary to 5-fluorouracil. Stability of the disease was reached in 88.8% and only 27.7% in the control group. The pretreatment with Ukrain facilitated the operability of the patients. The malignotoxic action of Ukrain in the clinic is confirmed by the results of pathomorphosis that gives more possibilities in operative treatment and increases the survival rate. Ukrain is a new effective drug in the therapy of colorectal cancer.

This study says:
A double-blinded parallel randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted on two groups of colorectal cancer patients to study the therapeutic benefit of orally administered bovine lactoferrin (bLF)…Test group (15 patients) received oral bLF 250 mg/day beside chemotherapy for three months. Control group (15 patients) received chemotherapy only… Although, there was a significant effect of oral bLF (250 mg/day) that indicated a significant improvement in mean percent of change of all parameters 3 months after treatment, there was no significant difference between results of patients in the test group and patients in the control group after treatment. This result suggests that oral bLF has significant therapeutic effect on colorectal cancer patients.

Bergamot juice extract

This study says: In this study we demonstrate that Citrus bergamia juice extracts (BJe) reduces CRC [colorectal cancer] cell growth by multiple mechanisms…high concentrations of BJe induce oxidative stress causing DNA damage. Our study highlights the role of BJe as modulator of cell apoptosis in CRC cells and strengthens our previous hypothesis that the flavonoid fraction of bergamot juice may play a role as anti-cancer drug.

Here’s a Facebook Group for colorectal cancer patients and caregivers

Did you know…
A 2016 study of patients with advanced colon cancer found those with tumors on the right side survived an average of 19 months, compared to 33 months for those with tumors on the left side.

Source: CBS News

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Page updated 2024

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