When the diagnosis is colon cancer, what are your
responsibilities as a caregiver?
Call you local county medical association to
find a physician with significant experience with the type of
Get a second opinion (but, not a fourth or
fifth) by someone of equal or higher ability than your
Insist on adequate and appropriate pain
management for your loved one.
Investigate complimentary therapies.
Complimentary therapies are advised as a supplement to your
physicians care, not as a replacement.
Maintain high fiber/low at diet. Consult a
nutritionist and don't force your loved one to eat.
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.
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
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.
Find and attend cancer support groups for
both of you.
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.
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