Radiation therapy is often used for patients with colorectal cancer. Radiation therapy is most often given after surgery to prevent the cancer from coming back. Sometimes it is used prior to surgery to shrink the size of the tumor and make it easier for the surgeon to remove it. Chemotherapy is sometimes given before, during or after radiation therapy. When it is given with radiation therapy it is given to make the radiation work better. Radiation therapy is also an effective treatment when colorectal cancer recurs, whether it is in the area of the original tumor or if it has spread to other parts of the body such as the liver or lung.
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