CareList: Colon Cancer  

When the diagnosis is colon cancer, what are your responsibilities as a caregiver?

  1. Call you local county medical association to find a physician with significant experience with the type of cancer diagnosed.

  2. Get a second opinion (but, not a fourth or fifth) by someone of equal or higher ability than your physician.

  3. Insist on adequate and appropriate pain management for your loved one.

  4. Investigate complimentary therapies. Complimentary therapies are advised as a supplement to your physicians care, not as a replacement.

  5. Maintain high fiber/low at diet. Consult a nutritionist and don't force your loved one to eat.

  6. Make and keep appointments. Since there is no warning of a reoccurrence, the only way to catch colon cancer while it can still be treated is to maintain a regular schedule of checkups including a colonoscopy.

  7. After diagnosis, encourage your loved one to keep healthy routines as much as possible and to do her normal tasks, even going back to work (if permitted) as soon as possible.

  8. Your loved one may feel anger or denial, become sullen or develop an altered sense of self worth, body image and sexuality. Reassure him that your feelings have not changed, and provide the emotional support he needs by listening and talking with him honestly.

  9. Find and attend cancer support groups for both of you.

  10. After surgery, signs of concern are: redness, swelling, bleeding, draining, fever and pain.

Information provided by Marietta Glazer, R.N.C.E.T.N., I. Glazer, M.D., Catherine Popkin, M.D., and the National Cancer Institute, (800) FOR CANCER & American Cancer Society (800) ACS-2345.


>Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter