What is the standard management for metastatic colorectal cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Chemotherapy rather than surgery has been the standard management for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The proper use of elective colon/rectal resections in nonobstructed patients with stage IV disease is a source of continuing debate.

Medical oncologists properly note the major drawbacks to palliative resection, such as loss of performance status and risks of surgical complications that potentially lead to delay in chemotherapy. However, surgeons understand that elective operations have lower morbidity than emergent operations on patients who are receiving chemotherapy.

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