Anyone who is given a colon cancer diagnosis finds their world has turned upside down in one minute. Fear, anxiety, and a thousand other emotions hit all at once. After the initial shock settles in, now you need to think clearly and figure out the next steps after a colon cancer diagnosis.
Start With Questions and Expect Answers
Write down every single question you can think of and don’t be shy. Ask about the stage of your cancer, whether it has spread to other parts of the body, and what the chances are for recovery after treatment.
Find out what treatments Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons is recommending, how many, when they will start, and how long they will take. Ask about how the treatments will affect you and all the side effects to expect.
Getting these initial facts, and others, should help to steady your nerves as you get some definitive answers.
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
Do Your Due Diligence
If you come across something you don’t understand, first research it online and then bring it up at your next meeting with your doctor. Patients no longer need to be passive with their health care. Understand what is going on and the consequences.
Choose the Best Doctor
If you have a good relationship with your primary doctor, ask for a referral. Look at your options, check their online websites, patient reviews, and their experience especially with your type of cancer.
When you meet the doctor, be sure to make sure they fit your personality, and take note of how well they listen and communicate.
Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons has great experience providing patients the highest quality of care at our six colorectal centers in Western New York.
Get a Treatment Plan Defined
There are many treatments and therapies available for colon or rectal cancer. Make sure you understand what is going to happen and in what order.
Your doctors may suggest:
- Chemotherapy – intravenous or oral drugs to kill cancer cells
- Immunotherapy – medications using the body’s immune system to to fight cancer
- Radiation therapy – radation focused on one part of the body to kill cancer cells
- Radiofrequency ablation – high energy radio waves to kill tumors
- Surgery – to remove cancer that has spread
- Targeted therapy – drugs targeted to kill colon cancer cell because they have a specific genetic mutation
Once you know what to expect you can plan better for job responsibilities, time off, your family, and find the support of friends and family.
Ask for What You Need
Family and friends are waiting to help, so let them support you.
Seek out support groups.
Arrange rides to appointments.
Have a friend or family member sit in on doctor appointments with you.
Contact Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons at (585) 222-6566 with any questions or concerns about your diagnosis or treatment plan.