Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer


Metastasis means that the cancer cells have spread from the colon or rectum through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other organs and is also referred to as stage IV colorectal cancer or advanced colon or rectal cancer.

Treatment depends on which organs it has spread to, and the extent of the cancer spread. Colorectal cancer usually spreads to the liver, the peritoneum, or lining of the abdomen, but also to your ovaries, lungs or other organs.

Treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer

Lymph nodes

The nearby lymph nodes are usually the first place that colorectal cancer spreads to and from there it can spread through the lymphatic system. Prof Jamie Murphy will usually recommend chemotherapy and occasionally surgery.


Colorectal cancer that spreads to the lung is usually treated with chemotherapy or radiofrequency ablation, and sometimes with surgical excision.


Colorectal cancer most often spreads to the liver because the blood supply to the colon is connected to the liver through a large blood vessel known as the portal vein. Sometimes, surgery may be advised, but otherwise chemotherapy or radiofrequency ablation, or a combination of both is performed.

Other procedures include portal vein embolization, ALPPS procedure, SIRT, irreversible electroporation, or transarterial chemoembolization.