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What to expect during colon cancer treatment

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, with an estimated 142,000 new cases and 50,630 deaths in 2018. If colon cancer is caught early, there is a 90% chance of cure. Treatment for colon cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

What is colon cancer, and what are the symptoms?

Colon cancer is cancer that starts in the colon, which is the large intestine. It’s the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, with an estimated 142,000 new cases and 50,630 deaths in 2018. If colon cancer is caught early, there is a 90% chance of cure. Treatment for colon cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Symptoms of colon cancer may include blood in your stool (rectal bleeding), abdominal pain or cramps, change in bowel habits (including diarrhea or constipation), unexplained weight loss, and weakness or fatigue. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Your doctor may perform a physical exam, interview you about your medical history and do a test called a colonoscopy to look for abnormalities in the colon. If colon cancer is suspected, your doctor will order other tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray, to determine the size and location of the tumor.

How is colon cancer treated?

Treatment for colon cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the stage of your cancer and your overall health.

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What are the treatment options for colon cancer?

There are many different colon cancer treatments available, depending on the stage of cancer. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

If colon cancer is caught early, there is a 90% chance of cure. However, if cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the cure rate drops to around 50%.

Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer. This may involve removing part or all of the colon. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also commonly used to treat colon cancer. These treatments can be used alone or in combination with surgery.

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What to expect during colon cancer treatment

Each individual’s cancer treatment plan will be different, depending on the stage of cancer, size, location, and other factors. However, there are some general things to expect during colon cancer treatment.

Your colon cancer treatment may begin with surgery to remove the tumor. If cancer has spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also be part of your treatment plan. You may also need to see a gastrointestinal specialist (GI specialist) for care during and after your treatment.

You can expect side effects from colon cancer treatment, such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and skin problems. These side effects can vary from person to person and may change over time. It is important to communicate with your healthcare team about any symptoms you are experiencing so they can help you manage them.