6 tips to Manage Your Colon Cancer Symptoms After Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with colon cancer is life-changing and terrifying. You are immediately faced with so many unknowns, and the range of emotions you experience is challenging to comprehend. After being diagnosed, one of the most critical steps is to learn about your specific colorectal cancer diagnosis, familiarize yourself with available treatment options, become informed about recommended lifestyle changes that may help manage your symptoms, and consider a support system for emotional assistance along the way.
Fortunately, thorough research and best practices during this journey can help improve the quality of life for colorectal cancer patients. Here are 6 tips for managing colon cancer treatment and symptoms after diagnosis.
- Be alert to the warning signs
When managing colon cancer after diagnosis, one must know potential symptoms and warning signs indicating a tumor size or activity change. Common progression symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fatigue, and loss of appetite. It is also essential to pay attention to changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or frequent loose stools. Visiting a doctor regularly can help manage any colon cancer symptoms and diagnosis development or changes in existing symptoms.
- Research your options
Colon cancer treatments vary depending on the individual situation and stage of the disease. Surgery is often recommended for earlier stages, while chemotherapy and radiation are typically used for more advanced cancers. A combination of treatments may also be used depending on the diagnosis. Working with a healthcare team to develop a comprehensive treatment plan is essential for managing the disease effectively.
- Pay attention to the food you eat
Dietary changes can also be beneficial in helping to manage colon cancer symptoms. Eating nutrient-rich foods that are low in fat and high in fiber may help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and support overall health. Additionally, limiting alcohol intake and avoiding processed foods can help control bloating, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and other symptoms of colon cancer.
- Stay Active
It’s important to stay active during treatment as well. Exercise helps boost the immune system, improves energy levels, and reduces stress levels which can all benefit patients with colon cancer. Low-impact activities such as yoga or walking are great options for maintaining exercise while controlling discomfort.
- Join support groups
Support groups for cancer patients can be a great source of comfort and understanding during the treatment process. Talking to others in similar situations can help reduce feelings of isolation, provide emotional support, and even offer practical advice about managing treatment side effects. Additionally, medical professionals such as oncologists or nurses should be able to provide helpful resources such as support groups or local events that provide peer-to-peer conversations with other cancer patients.
- Practice self-care
Finally, it’s important to practice self-care while undergoing colon cancer treatments. This could include taking time off work or school, getting enough restful sleep each night, or engaging in calming activities like yoga and meditation. Finding balance in your daily life is essential to ensure you’re physically and emotionally ready for the next step of your cancer journey.
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed and anxious following a colon cancer diagnosis. However, taking the proper steps can help you effectively manage your treatment and symptoms, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life. The six tips discussed above should provide a good starting point.