If you visit your doctor for a routine colonoscopy or to discuss cancer warning signs and learn you have colon cancer, it can be devastating. You may feel overwhelmed and possibly scared. After a colon cancer diagnosis, learn the proper steps you can take to create a successful treatment plan.
I Have Colon Cancer. Now What?
When doctors can detect colon cancer early, patients have a better chance of surviving. Specialists can more easily create a cancer treatment plan if it’s caught in the early stages. This is one of the reason screening tests are so important. Regular colonoscopies give doctors a good look at your colon and allows them to find cancer sooner, sometimes before you notice any symptoms. If your doctor has not recommended you get a colonoscopy by the time you’re 50, request one yourself to understand your possible risk.
Colon cancer sometimes takes years to develop and grow. Also, most colon cancers are not life-threatening. It’s important to take your time discussing your options with specialists and surgeons to make sure you develop a cancer treatment plan specified for you and your cancer’s stage. Get a second opinion if you feel the need to, and learn all there is to know about your diagnosis.
Often, doctors recommend imaging tests to help refine your diagnosis and discover what stage your cancer is in. Also, your doctor may recommend genetic counseling if your cancer is hereditary. With these extra tests, your specialist can become more informed on how to treat you.
Discuss your cancer treatment options with a medical expert. Depending on the stage of cancer, how much it has progressed, and where the cancer originated, your treatment can vary. Colon cancer treatments include:
- Minimally invasive surgery to remove polyps
- Colostomy or stoma
- Chemotherapy or radiation
More steps to take after a colon cancer diagnosis
Doctors recommend colon cancer patients start or continue healthy habits like eating well and exercising often. Healthy lifestyle changes can help keep cancer from coming back after treatment is complete. Try incorporating 20-30 minute cardio exercises throughout your week and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of red meat.
To learn more about cancer screenings and what to do after a diagnosis, contact the team at Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care. We specialize in gynceologic and colon cancers.