Colon cancer is a form of cancer that affects the colon, which is a part of the large intestines. This condition is caused by malignant cells growing out of control in the colon. The survival rate for colon cancer is high especially if it’s detected and treated early. And once the colon is cancer-free, the patient can go back to his normal lifestyle.
Treating Colon Cancer
The treatment for colon cancer often starts by surgically removing malignant tumors. Usually, these tumors grow so big that they block parts of the lower intestines. Some patients are given the option to undergo chemotherapy first before the surgery. This is an effective way to shrink the tumors for easier removal.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that kills off cancer cells. This treatment is recommended particularly to those with aggressive forms of cancer. The side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, skin irritation and nausea. Once the treatment is successful, the patient goes through a remission period. During this time, the patient is cancer-free. However, the disease may come back again. If cancer re-occurs, the patient will go through another round of chemotherapy.
You can ask your doctors about the side effects and symptoms you can expect before the treatment. You can also ask a nutritionist to help you develop diet plans to minimize the effects of chemotherapy.
Living with Colon Cancer after Treatment
Getting a Lot of Rest
You won’t feel 100% better after an aggressive colon cancer treatment. Most times, your energy is drained and you feel nauseous. But once you get your energy back, you can return to living a normal, healthy life.
Being cancer-free shouldn’t be an excuse to get reacquainted with old sins. To minimize the chances of recurrence, you have to make better lifestyle choices. Start by maintaining a healthy weight and eating balanced meals. You have to keep your doctor’s appointments all the time. Observe your body, if there are any changes, consult your doctor. The body is healing during the remission period and any symptoms should be observed and reported to your doctor.
Finding a Support Group
Fighting for your life can drain a person’s energy, self-esteem, resources and confidence. Not a lot of people can relate to your life experiences. So have a support system. Don’t be afraid to connect to those who went through the same ordeal. Your journey towards healing starts by being more open about the challenges you faced against the disease.
Emotional and Physical Changes
Cancer can change a person physically, mentally and emotionally. Most times, you don’t feel like your old self and that’s okay. Beating cancer will make you better, stronger and wiser. Colon cancer will affect how you think about yourself. It will affect others too. You might not be comfortable with the idea of changing, but this is an opportunity to appreciate yourself and your loved ones better. So connect with friends and loved ones.
Dealing with Sexual Issues
Chemotherapy and a cocktail of cancer drugs will affect a person’s sexual appetite. Most cancer survivors will lose their desire for sex. For men, they go through episodes of impotence. Others feel pain during sexual intercourse. All these symptoms are normal. Treatments that address these problems are also available.