Could It Come Back
For most people, colorectal cancer doesnât come back, or ârecur.â But in about 35% to 40% of people who get surgery with or without chemotherapy, the cancer may come back within 3 to 5 years of treatment. If this happens, it could be in the colon or rectum, or in another part of the body, such as the liver and lungs.
Numb Or Tingling Hands Or Feet
Oxaliplatin can cause numb or tingling hands or feet. This side effect is called peripheral neuropathy. You may notice that you have difficulty doing up buttons or similar fiddly tasks. This is because the drug can affect nerve endings.
This symptom may be worse in cold temperatures. If you notice that it is caused by the cold, avoid cold drinks and wear warm clothing in cold weather. You could wear gloves, socks, and a scarf to cover your nose and mouth. Use gloves when you are taking things out of the freezer or refrigerator.
It is important to tell your doctor about any tingling or numbness. They may lower the dose of the drug to help. Sometimes this side effect may not happen with the first treatment, but after several treatments. This is called a cumulative effect.
It may continue for several months, but should improve slowly after the treatment finishes. Sometimes it is permanent.
Possible Side Effects Of Chemo
Chemo drugs attack cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, such as those in hair follicles and in the lining of the mouth and intestines, are also dividing quickly. These cells can be affected by chemo too, which can lead to side effects.
The side effects of chemo depend on the type and dose of drugs given and how long you take them. Common side effects of chemo can include:
Chemo can also affect the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, which can lead to:
- Increased chance of infections
- Easy bruising or bleeding
Other side effects are specific to certain drugs. Ask your cancer care team about the possible side effects of the specific drugs you are getting. For example:
Most of these side effects tend to go away over time after treatment ends. Some, such as hand and foot numbness from oxaliplatin, may last for a long time. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, you can be given drugs to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting or you may be told to keep ice chips in your mouth while chemo is being given to lower the chances of getting mouth sores.
Older people seem to be able to tolerate some types of chemo for colon or rectal cancer fairly well. Age is no reason to withhold treatment in otherwise healthy people.
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What Are The Advantages Of Oral Chemotherapy
The primary advantage of oral chemotherapy is the convenience of being able to take it at home. You dont have to go to an infusion center for treatment.
For some patients, this means not having to take time off work for treatment appointments. Those who live some distance from their treatment center dont have to deal with the time and stress of frequent travel. Others simply prefer to reduce disruptions to their regular schedule.
Maintaining a normal routine as much as possible provides a psychological benefit to some patients. Being able to take oral chemotherapy at home helps them maintain a sense of normalcy.
Oral chemotherapy may reduce the number of blood draws you have to undergoa benefit to patients who are averse to needles. You may also avoid having to get a port-a-cath, which appeals to some patients.
When oral chemotherapy is taken daily, it also may change the way you experience side effects of treatment. Some patients find their side effects are less severe, but more constant, than with IV chemotherapy.
What Are The Side Effects Of Oral Chemotherapy
The possible side effects of oral chemotherapy are the same as those of traditional chemotherapy, and may include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, constipation or hair loss.
The potential side effects you may experience depend on the type of chemotherapy drug youre taking and how often youre taking it. Not everyone experiences the same ones or in the same way. Patients are sometimes surprised to find out that not all chemotherapies cause hair loss, for example, or that men and women may experience different side effects of chemotherapy.
We also have more ways to help patients tolerate treatment these days. Anti-nausea medications have improved significantly over the years and are frequently given along with chemotherapy drugs. Supportive care therapies are designed to help prevent and manage side effects of cancer and its treatment. At CTCA®, for example, our patients have access to our integrative care services, including:
Your oncologist may be able to change the dosage of your medication or even prescribe a different chemotherapy if necessary. Talk to your care team about your options if you experience side effects.
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Toxicities And Selecting Optimal Treatment Regimens
The major toxicities of the cytotoxic drugs used to treat CRC are well described. Much of the clinical research of the 1980s and 1990s focused on establishing an optimal 5FU regimen. Randomized trials and meta-analyses in the 1990s established that infusional 5FU compared with bolus 5FU regimens resulted in significantly less severe toxicity, a higher response rate, improved progression-free survival and a small difference in OS . The pattern of severe toxicities experienced when 5FU is delivered in bolus-dosing or infusion-based regimens varies: bolus dosing resulting in more haematological toxicity as well as nonhaematological toxicities such as diarrhoea and mucositis . In contrast, infusional 5FU regimens result in more cases of handfoot syndrome. The de Gramont regimen, administering a bolus dose of 5FU, followed by a 23h 5FU infusion delivered on days 1 and 2 every 14 days, and subsequently simplified with the adoption of a 46h infusion via a central venous line, is widely considered an optimal 5FU regimen. It has also become the preferred partner for combining 5FU with either irinotecan or oxaliplatin because of its improved toxicity profile.
Biofeedback Cancer Rehabilitation Therapy For Rectal Cancer
Before and after treatment, patients can benefit from physical therapy that focuses on the muscle near the rectum knows as the levator muscles .
It is important for rectal cancer patients to find a physical therapist who is trained to treat the pelvic floor and has experience providing pelvic floor therapy to cancer patients.
Biofeedback Cancer Rehabilitation therapy for rectal cancer consists of training the external and internal muscles of the pelvic floor that may be affected by surgery or radiation. Surgery may remove or weaken key muscles used in digestion and bowel movements. Radiation may shorten muscle fibers in the pelvic floor. These effects of radiation can last up to five to ten years after treatment.
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Stage 1 Colon Cancer And Its Treatment
At this stage, it means the cancer has grown into the mucosa and submucosa. In stage 1 colon cancer, the cancer has grown deeper into the colon wall but has not spread to the nearby organs or lymph nodes. Stage 1 colon cancer also includes cancer that was a part of the polyp. If the part of the polyp that contained the cancer was removed during a colonoscopy, with no cancer cells at the margins of the removed piece, no other treatment may be required. However, if the cancer found on in the polyp is of a higher grade or if cancer found at the margins of the polyp, more surgery may be required.
The patient may also be advised to have more surgery if the polyp could not be completely removed or if the polyp had to be removed in bits and pieces making it hard to see if there were cancer cells at the edges.
A partial colectomy is done for cancers that are not in the polyp. A partial colectomy is the process of removing a part of the colon that has cancer and even the nearby lymph nodes. This is the standard treatment for stage 1 colon cancer and the patient wont need anymore treatment after this.
Prognosis of stage 1 colon cancer
The 5 year relative survival rate of people with stage 1 colon cancer is about 92%.
Side Effects Of Chemotherapy For Colon Cancer
Chemotherapy is an important treatment option for patients affected by colon cancer. This article discusses some of the side effects of using this therapy.
Chemotherapy is an important treatment option for patients affected by colon cancer. This article discusses some of the side effects of using this therapy.
Chemotherapy refers the use of certain types of medicines or drugs for the treatment of cancer. It acts by killing the cancer cells, which divide and grow uncontrollably. A cancer patient may undergo this therapy simply by swallowing a pill or taking intravenous injections. Depending on the type of cancer, patients are given chemo once a day, once a week, or even once a month. The duration of treatment depends on the type of cancer and the patients response to the drugs.
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How Does Colon Cancer Start Developing
Colon cancer is known to start forming as benign polyps. Benign polyps are either flat, or knob-shaped growths that are present on the inner lining of the large intestine. Occasionally, these growths are known to cause symptoms such as unexplained bleeding , or constipation. However, in most cases, these polyps produce no early symptoms at all which is why most people may not even realize when these signs are present.
Some polyps may continue to remain benign, which means that they will exist as non-cancerous masses. Some of these tumors can become malignant, or cancerous. These polyps are often detected using a procedure called a colonoscopy. In most cases, if doctors find the presence of one or more polyps during a routine colonoscopy, they are removed at the same procedure.
What To Ask A Doctor Before Starting Oral Chemotherapy
Here are some questions you may want to ask a doctor:
- Whats each drug expected to do?
- Exactly how should I take this medication?
- Can the pills be broken or crushed? Do they need to be taken with a meal?
- Are there any particular foods I should avoid while taking this medication?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I throw up after taking it?
- How should I handle and store the drug?
- What side effects can I expect from this drug, and what should I do if I have them? What are the warning signs of serious problems?
- How often should I check in with your practice? When will I need blood tests or scans?
- How long will I need to take it?
- How will we know its working?
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How Is Chemotherapy Given
You can get chemotherapy in different ways to treat colorectal cancer.
- Systemic chemotherapy: Drugs are put right into your blood through a vein or you take them by mouth. The drugs enter your bloodstream and reach almost all areas of your body.
- Regional chemotherapy: Drugs are put right into an artery that leads to the part of the body with the cancer. This focuses the chemo on the cancer cells in that area. It reduces side effects by limiting the amount of drug reaching the rest of your body. Hepatic artery infusion, or chemo given directly into the hepatic artery, is an example of regional chemotherapy sometimes used for cancer that has spread to the liver.
Chemo drugs for colon or rectal cancer that are given into a vein , can be given either as an injection over a few minutes or as an infusion over a longer period of time. This can be done in a doctors office, infusion center, or in a hospital setting.
Often, a slightly larger and sturdier IV is required in the vein system to administer chemo. These are known as central venous catheters , central venous access devices , or central lines. They are used to put medicines, blood products, nutrients, or fluids right into your blood. They can also be used to take blood for testing.There are many different kinds of CVCs. The most common types are the port and the PICC line.
What Happens During The End Stage Of Colon Cancer
A diagnosis of end-stage colon cancer is something nobody wants to hear. It is never easy to deal with a terminal disease, but understanding the symptoms, getting good palliative care, and receiving the mental support you need can help.
In end-stage colon cancer, cancer has spread to other parts of the body, treatment has failed, and death is generally fairly close.
Have you considered clinical trials for Colon cancer?
We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Colon cancer, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available and be a part of finding a cure.
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When To Stop Chemo For Colon Cancer
Cancer treatment is at its most effective the first time that its used.
If youve undergone three or more chemotherapy treatments for your cancer and the tumors continue to grow or spread, it may be time for you to consider stopping chemotherapy. Even if you decide to stop chemotherapy, you may still want to explore other treatment options, including experimental ones such as immunotherapy.
Review the recommendations of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists and Choosing Wisely as you grapple with this decision.
Choosing Wisely is an initiative created by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. Its aim is to foster a conversation between healthcare providers and the public about unnecessary medical tests and treatments.
To help you make your decision on when to stop chemotherapy, ask your oncologist these questions:
- Will continuing treatment make a significant difference in my cancer growth?
- What other experimental options are out there for me to try?
- Does it matter if I stop chemotherapy now or several months from now?
- If I stop treatment, will my side effects, such as pain and nausea, go away?
- Will stopping chemotherapy mean I stop seeing you and your team altogether?
Being open and honest with your oncology team is very important during this time. Be sure your treatment team knows your wishes. Also, be clear on what you need in the coming weeks and months.
How Long Do You Take Oral Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy in either form is usually given in cycles over a period of a few weeks at a time, but this may vary depending on the specifics of your treatment plan.
If you have advanced cancer and chemotherapy is being used to slow the progression of cancer or to relieve its symptoms, it may be used for longer periods of time if youre tolerating it well and it improves your quality of life.
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How Will 5fu Treatment Affect Fertility
Its possible to experience fertility problems following 5FU treatment. However, compared to other types of chemotherapy drugs, 5FU is associated with a lower risk of infertility in both males , according to the ACS.
Nevertheless, if you have concerns about fertility and your cancer treatment, talk to your doctor. Based on your individual situation, they may recommend freezing eggs or sperm prior to starting your treatment.
What Are The Different Types Of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer starts with a growth in the inner lining of the colon. These growths are called polyps. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over time but it depends on the type of polyp it is. Polyps are of two types:
These polyps are called adenomas and can sometimes turn to be cancerous.
Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps:
These polyps are not precancerous.
The factors that can make a polyp cancerous include if the polyp is larger than 1 cm, if two or more polyps are found and if dysplasia is seen after the removal of a polyp. Dysplasia is a precancerous condition which means that there is an area in the polyp that contains cells that look abnormal.
What are the different types of colon cancer?
Adenocarcinomas make up about 96% of the colon cancer cases. These cancers mainly start in the cells that line the inner surface of the colon and these cells are also responsible for lubricating the colon. When doctors speak of colon cancer they are often referring to adenocarcinomas. There are also rarer tumor types which include:
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Here Are Some Important Things To Know When Beginning A Course Of Oral Chemotherapy: