Will Cancer Spread During Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer?

What is the likelihood that cancer will spread during chemotherapy for colon cancer?

chemotherapyMany patients are concerned about cancer spread during chemotherapy. But, every cancer case is just as different as the patient it affects. Each cancer patient receives a chemotherapy course of treatment that is tailored to their disease.

Dr. Madappa Kundranda says he looks at a couple factors to determine whether a treatment is working or not. The first is the degree to which a patient tolerates chemotherapy. The second is a patient’s response to the therapy. This is measured by how a patient is doing and by tumor markers. For more, watch the video below:

Madappa Kundranda, MD: Another important question and rightfully so is the question of will the chemotherapy prevent my disease from spreading while I am on it. That is an important question because if a patient is getting chemotherapy to improve their quality of life, but, however, the disease is spreading on chemotherapy, how beneficial is it.

There are different ways of predicting, whether a therapy is working or not. The two biggest factors for that, one is tolerance to chemotherapy. You could have the most effective therapy in curing your cancer or preventing it from spreading, but if a patient does not tolerate that well, that is not the most beneficial therapy for that specific patient. So, tolerability is number one.

The second one is response to therapy. Response to therapy is measured by different parameters, one from a clinical standpoint wherein if a patient is feeling good, doing well, then you know that the patient is more than likely responding to therapy. Number two is by tumor markers, certain cancers such as colon cancer have proteins that have been secreted into your blood which can be measured with routine blood tests. If those blood tests indicate that the proteins are decreasing, then more than likely it is effective against your cancer and your cancer is under control. Number three is using imaging techniques. These imaging techniques could be PET scans and MRIs or CAT scans and a combination of a clinical exam, tumor markers, and radiological imaging is extremely important in monitoring your response to therapy.

Madappa Kundranda
Dr. Madappa Kundranda obtained his medical degree from Bangalore University in India, before earning a PhD in cancer biology from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Dr. Kundranda next completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital. He then finished a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. He is currently a medical oncologist with Western Regional Medical Center.

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