What To Expect After A Colon Cancer Diagnosis
If you or a loved one have been recently diagnosed with colon cancer, you are likely wondering what comes next. Between researching treatment options and figuring out the best plan of action to manage symptoms, receiving a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly distressing. To help simplify this experience and reduce some stress, here is an overview of some of the most common colon cancer treatments and what you can potentially expect when pursuing each of them.
Surgery to remove a tumor and some of the surrounding tissue is one of the most common forms of colon cancer therapy. The specific type and extent of surgery you may need will depend on your individual situation; for some, the surgery will result in little changes to daily life, while others will require the patient to use a stoma. Talk to your doctor about the potential options for surgery and what side effects you may experience after undergoing this treatment.
Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy as part of your colon cancer treatment plan. This is a particularly common treatment plan for colorectal cancer as it can reduce the rate of reoccurrence in the area. Radiation therapy does come with several side effects, but if surgery is not an option, radiation therapy can be a reasonable alternative or can be used in conjunction with other treatment methods like chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy treatment may also be recommended in instances of colon cancer. This colon cancer treatment option is more likely to be used in conjunction with surgery and radiation therapy; sometimes, chemotherapy may be used before a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the tumor to be removed. Talk to your doctor about the potential side effects of chemotherapy if this is an option you’re considering for your treatment plan.
Overall, the best way to treat colon cancer is to take steps early on for prevention and detection. As many as 23 million people have not been screened for colorectal cancer; make sure that you get screened to ensure any instances of cancer are detected early, and so that colon cancer treatment can begin as soon as possible.