There are many indications for surgical intervention in the current treatment of cancer of the colon and rectum. The hallmark of surgical therapy remains en bloc resection of the primary tumor, accompanied by removal of the mesenteric lymph nodes. Surgical resection is also the principal and most successful treatment for local recurrences and isolated metastases. Although the application of minimally invasive techniques is growing in all aspects of surgery and is accepted in the treatment of benign lesions of the colon, laparoscopic resection for colorectal cancer cannot be recommended apart from randomized, controlled trials. Similarly, the role of sentinel lymph node biopsy in the surgical treatment of colorectal cancer remains to be defined. Various surgical modalities have been developed for the treatment of unresectable colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver. Further studies s should help to elucidate the exact role of these therapies in the treatment of this common clinical problem. In summary, surgical treatment plays an important role in multiple aspects of the care of the patient with colorectal cancer.
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