Treatment methods

Individual treatment – Based largerly on the stage of the illness

The latest scientific findings are used to treat bowel cancer at Schoen Clinic. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on a coordinated sequence of different treatment approaches. 

Our specialists at Schoen Clinic often perform surgery using a gentle, minimally invasive surgical technique. Surgery is performed under a microscope, i.e. the magnification effect of the camera is used to operate even more precisely.

Surgical treatment methods

Aftercare for bowel cancer

After the bowel cancer treatment, you will receive customised aftercare recommendations. These last for five years. As a rule, the examinations take place every three months in the first two years, then every six months or annually. They are carried out or arranged by the cancer specialist (oncologist).

Stoma therapy

The sphincter muscle cannot be preserved in all cases in the event of rectal cancer. This is the case if the tumour grows directly into the sphincter muscle or if there has been unwanted stool loss (incontinence). In these situations, a permanent artificial anus must be created. In some operations on the rectum, temporary artificial bowel outlets are created, which can be moved back after a few months in coordination with further therapy.

Major surgery for bowel cancer

In later tumour stages, surgical treatment depends on the lymphatic drainage area. There is also an abundance of lymph channels and lymph nodes, which have important immunological functions, in the rectum. The aim of the operation is therefore to completely remove the tumour-bearing segment of the bowel and the associated lymphatic drainage area.

We measure the results 
All data relating to the operation is recorded (with the patient’s consent) in an anonymous register and compared with other hospitals in Germany. Therefore, we know: We remove a great many lymph nodes and can remove many tumours completely. Our patients also have few complications. All this contributes to successful bowel cancer treatment. 

Good to know
Thanks to medical progress over recent years, an artificial anus is now only necessary in less than a third of rectal cancer patients. Bowel continuity can be restored in more than 70 per cent of all cases. We can also accurately take the given anatomical layers into account and thus largely avoid nerve damage – which is very important for bladder and sexual function. The risk of renewed tumour growth at the place of origin is now well below 10 per cent.

Minor surgery for bowel cancer

Transanal excision
Minor surgery is performed when polyps or very early cancer stages cannot be removed with an endoscope. In the case of changes in the rectum, what is known as transanal excision is an option. The relevant section of the rectum wall is removed through the sphincter muscle. Since the lymph nodes are left behind during this procedure, only changes that have an extraordinarily low risk of lymph node metastases can be successfully treated.

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery
Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is an alternative to the transanal procedure in bowel cancer treatment. This involves inserting a tube with holders for instruments (surgical rectoscope) into the anus, transferring the image to a screen using a camera and then performing the operation using a minimally invasive technique with the finest instruments.

Bowel cancer treatment: surgical treatment

In the case of bowel cancer, surgery comes first. If the lymph nodes are also affected, the operation is followed by chemotherapy.

In the case of rectal cancer, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy must be combined in a meaningful way. The operation is often performed following neoadjuvant chemo- and radiotherapy, which is intended to significantly reduce the tumour mass and tumour cells. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used simultaneously because the two methods complement or reinforce each other. It may not be necessary to perform radiotherapy again after the operation. This does not impair the function of the intestinal segment used for reconstruction.