After the Tumor

What you should know about the new guidelines for monitoring patients with colon cancer

Doctors have learned a lot over the past decade about how to treat colon cancer. But given that it strikes 130,000 Americans each year, there's surprisingly little research about the best way to monitor a patient's condition after his or her tumor has been removed. The goal, of course, is to catch any metastasis, or spreading of the original cancer, while it is still small and treatable. To do that, physicians rely on everything from blood tests to computerized X rays, or C.T. scans, to detect new tumors in the liver and lungs, among other places. Unfortunately, no one knows which...

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