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In which side the primary colon cancer is located? Important for you to know

Although we think of as one organ, it’s very different from left to right. The biology of what happens in the colon is very different from left to right and that has implications on the cancer as well.

Patients with right-sided colon cancer have poorer prognosis than those with left-sided disease regardless of the stage of the disease at diagnosis or the course of treatment the patient has received and therefore requires a different approach, a more aggressive one when coming to treat these patients.

Surgeons report that patients with tumors on the right side are harvested greater lymph node during their operations.

Colorectal cancer can be characterized by the location of the primary tumor being within the colon. Over the past few years, the distinction between right-sided and left-sided colon cancer has been brought into focus due to their having different outcomes, different prognoses and different clinical responses to chemotherapy.

For metastatic colon cancer, clinical studies now provide strong evidence about the prognostic and the predictive value of the primary tumor’s location. This is predictive for treatment outcomes which are poorer in right-sided colon cancers. Although tumor location is not included within the international guidelines for metastatic colon cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, NCCN, guidelines recommend the use of certain drugs for the treatment of left-sided colon cancer.

In recent years, the interest in identifying the differences between patients with right-sided colon and left-sided colon has been increasing, as has the potential for using the primary tumor’s location to improve the personalization of systemic treatments.

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