How To Effectively Handle The Loss of A Loved One

One of the worst things that can happen in your life is losing a loved one. There is no easy way to handle the fact that a special part of your life is no longer around. Do not feel strange or bad if you are struggling at the moment since you do not know how to move on from your loss. What you are experiencing and feeling at the moment is only typical for someone who is coming face-to-face with grief.

Source: pexels.com

In this article, we are going to provide you with the tips that you need to master if you want to feel better after losing your loved one to cancer. Before anything else, it is crucial on your part to be ready for the next journey of your life. Just because one person dies does not mean that you no longer have something to live for. What is essential in this life is that you have peace of mind and belief that everything is going to be fine soon.

 

Here are the things to remember so that you can move on right away. Make sure to familiarize them:

 

Feel The Loss

 

The first step is to stop denying to yourself the loss of a special someone in your life. As already mentioned above, it is okay to let all your feelings out. If you are sad or upset about the death of your loved one, do not be afraid to cry your heart out. No one is supposed to tell you what to feel. Keep in mind that you are the only one who can manage what you are feeling inside.

Source: pexels.com

Be With Family

 

Now is the best time in your life to be surrounded by your family members. Make sure that you spend most of your time with them because they are the ones who can help you move on or survive this challenging moment. You must stop thinking that they cannot help you in any way. Remind yourself that they are the only ones who will save you from misery. Do not hesitate to open up to your family about what you feel so that they can know how to support you.

 

Seek Therapy

 

Another effective way of handling grief or loss is to start looking for a therapist. Do not think that you are alone in this situation. Instead, remind yourself that you are a fantastic individual who can survive what you are going through. All you need is to get in touch with a therapist who can make the process easier on your part. Just because you have a therapist does not mean that you are insane. Instead, treat it as an opportunity to improve your life and bounce back from heartbreak.

Source: pexels.com

Cancer can take the people you love, and it can hurt a lot. However, you need to be stronger for yourself. Stop thinking of what was lost. Instead, focus on the bright future ahead of you. Remember that you can still recover from this unfortunate experience. You need to make better choices.

 

4 Ways To Handle Cancer

One of the saddest things that you will experience in this life is discovering that you have a serious medical condition. It can be challenging and hard to face the reality that no matter how careful you are, you still fell a victim of cancer. Maybe you think that this world is unfair because you have an illness even if you always put your health as a top priority. Aside from this, you may also feel bitterness, especially if you think that you are a nice person.

 Source: pexels.com

If there is one crucial thing that you must remember at this point, it is the reality that there are tons of ways on how you can handle cancer. Your life is not ending just because you have been diagnosed with this disease. Sometimes, you have to be stronger than what you are suffering from. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips on how to handle cancer:

 

Ask Questions

 

For sure, there are several things in your mind that you need to clear out. Do not feel bad for having tons of questions about your condition. Remember that you have a doctor who can answer everything you need to know. Do not hesitate to ask questions so that you can know more about your condition. Feel free to throw any form of inquiries to ensure that nothing will bother you.

Source: pexels.com

Be With Loved Ones

 

Now is a difficult moment in your life, which means that you need to be around the people who make you feel alive. Get in touch with your family and make them feel how much you value them. Stop thinking about the hardships that you are going through and focus on getting assistance and support from your loved ones.

 

Take A Break

 

Sometimes, you need to be brave and strong enough to go on a vacation on your own. Be out of your comfort zone and take a break to a place that you have always wanted to visit for a long time. Remind yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Travel alone so that you will discover yourself. In so doing, you will become more motivated to keep living.

Source: pexels.com

Have Faith

 

Another thing that you must never forget is to keep faithful despite the situation. Keep in mind that you can survive this difficult moment, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above. Try to remain positive because it is the only way to handle your biggest issues. Remember that if you allow your illness to bring you down, there is a big possibility that you may no longer recover.

 

If you think that your condition is making things a lot more difficult for you, feel free to consider talking to a therapist. Be brave in seeking out professional help if you think that it is what you need at the moment. There are various form of therapy treatments that can help you get going, despite having a serious illness.

The Emotional Struggle Of Having An Anal Cancer (A Confession To A Therapist)

In all honesty, the diagnosis of anal cancer includes an unwarranted stigma on it. That is because when someone gets diagnosed with the condition, there is an instant buildup of shame. There is a constant questioning of “whys.” With that, a therapist would understand that the emotional struggle sometimes takes a big part of the whole recovery process. And that is due to patients’ mentality. There is an embarrassment because the condition appears located at the awkward part of the body.

Source: pinterest.com

The Stigma

A lot of individuals do not realize that cancer does not control its existence. Meaning, you get to have it from any parts of the body, regardless if it is internal or external. Small and huge, mild or severe, still it won’t matter. Someone can get cancer just anywhere, including the anal. In some unfortunate cases, even if a lot of people understand what the condition is, they sometimes do not want to seek out help. These persons are too embarrassed to let others know that they have anal cancer. With that, the idea of stepping through the awkwardness of the whole situation becomes less confronting. Therefore, treatments get disregarded as well.

The Reality

Due to societal pressure and different perception towards the particular body part, individuals with anal cancer feel less confident about themselves. They try to ignore signs and symptoms without thinking about the possible growth and severity of the condition. So when things appear complicated and when they already decided to seek out help finally, it becomes too late. That is because these people tend to ignore what their body is telling them only because they consider their emotional state more. But no one can blame them. The judgments and criticisms they are afraid to get is the primary source of the damage to their mental health.

Source: pixabay.com

Anal Cancer And Mental Health

People with anal cancer become over thinkers. That explains why almost all of them obtain a diagnosis of severe anxiety and clinical depression. The reason for that is the small percentage of individuals who are more concern about what could happen negatively. These individuals continuously think about stuff like undergoing surgery, financial battle along with the condition, hassle with therapy and treatments, and fear of dying. These negative thoughts become the center of their lives. There is a constant worry for everything that sometimes the whole scenario turns unrealistic anymore.

In some cases, people with anal cancer tend to become more irritable, angry, and unpredictable. Sometimes they feel okay but then can feel a little off in an instant. These people do not concentrate on what is in front of them and often try to waste time thinking about more significant problems. Nevertheless, these individuals’ worries become untypical that it begins to consume their lives.

Worry and stress are indeed natural. That is especially for those people who are experiencing a particular unfortunate event of their lives. So others can’t blame them for feeling and thinking that way. Becoming ill for the short or long period takes a toll on the physical, emotional, and mental aspect of every individual with anal cancer. One cannot fully understand what these people are going through. So with the entire stigma that covers the whole case of having anal cancer, everything emotional and psychological becomes a never-ending battle.

Source: pixhd.com

Help, Not Criticize

It is understandable that even if we try to encourage these patients to undergo treatment and seek out help, they will genuinely ignore the advice. Some of them may not pay attention, and others can show no concern at all. But as concerned individuals, we have to become part of their journey. Instead of telling them how they should do things on their won, we have to walk them through their recovery. And the best way we can do that is by helping, not judging. We need to cut the stigma that keeps them away from asking professional help. We have to help them put an end to their unwanted feelings.

It is hard for patients with anal cancer to stay positive. That is especially when the social environment is not cooperating with their recovery. So instead of us becoming one of those negative people, we can try to become the accommodating ones. Who knows? Perhaps things will become a little different with these individuals when we show them that we can make a difference by just showing that we care.

Can Cancer Patients Benefit From Psychologists?

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As you age, your body starts to weaken, resulting in higher chances of contracting injuries and diseases such as cancer. In fact, Tania Estapé, Ph.D. reported that 60% of cancer patients are 65 years or older because their bodies are more likely to accumulate damaged cells caused by UV radiation or cigarette smoking during their younger years. These people might need the help of psychologists.

When this occurs, the cells continue to multiply and divide abnormally without dying, posing grave health threats to those concerned. For instance, the cancer of the colon and rectum or more commonly known as colorectal cancer according to studies is said to be the second leading cause of deaths for both men and women diagnosed with the disease in the United States.

Patients with this kind of cancer may experience effects physically, emotionally, and financially similar to those with other types of cancers. However, it is usually the emotional needs of these patients that are given the least priority despite them recurring even after the treatment completed. Hence, visiting a psychologist before, during, or after your diagnosis and treatment may help in improving your quality of life.

Psychology In Cancer Treatment

People often disregard the role of Psychology in treating cancer, but studies and reports have shown that psychological interventions have undoubtedly influenced both the patients and their families. Psychologists give them emotional support and help in alleviating distress, which eventually enhances communication among the patients, their families, and their doctors.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Benefits Of Visiting A Psychologist

  •     Improves Your Health And Well-Being

The theory behind this claim started when David Spiegel, M.D. released his findings on the effect of weekly group therapy sessions to those diagnosed with cancer. He discovered that the participants had survived an average of 18 months longer than those who did not after about a decade. It was later supported by a Canadian study that focused on the effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on women with breast cancer. Similar to the previous study, the participants displayed fewer psychological disorders and a better overall quality of life.

Furthermore, increased stress might worsen cancer as it may act as a trigger to further promote the spread, growth, and increase of tumors in the body. Thus, having an effective support system could lead to reduced episodes of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. 

In addition to this, psychological interventions can also help in improving a patient’s self-management and control. They become more comfortable with themselves. Patients develop healthier coping skills, which further enhance the health and the emotional and mental well-being of cancer patients.

  •     Helps alleviate pain during treatments

As previously mentioned, psychologists can help patients in developing better and more effective coping mechanisms, especially when it comes to their treatments. They can equip them with strategies to manage the side effects that come with their medication. 

For instance, the Cancer Research UK suggests using self-hypnosis as one of the possible techniques to help patients control their nausea and other side effects and help them to relax. Another strategy that can be taught by psychologists is by using guided imagery or visualization to alleviate discomfort. 

In this approach, psychologists bring you into a state of deep relaxation. This is a place where you can then take a journey through your imagination. There are two classifications for guided imagery, namely the Simonton method and the Palming technique. Patients imagine their bodies battling the cancer cells in the Simonton method. While in the Palming technique, it involves patients visualizing different colors to represent various things and emotions.

They can also help in alleviating the strong emotions that cancer induces such as fear and depression. Further, they can influence the patient in making sensible decisions about their lifestyle and choices. Furthermore, psychologists can effectively convince patients to adhere to their treatment regimens and medications.

  •     Enhances Your Relationship With Your Family

Contrary to common misconceptions, the family members and relatives of cancer patients also experience distress. It is similar to those diagnosed with cancer. However, their emotional needs often receive neglections. 

A 2013 study showed that they have higher unemployment rates and lower self-rated health as a result of being more functionally disabled and stressed out. Furthermore, it is critical to also focus on the emotional well-being of the patient’s family. They may impose their frustration on the patient. 

Hence, psychologists play a crucial role to prevent this from happening. They can assist family members in managing their stress and overcoming their fear and feelings of isolation through hypnosis and relaxation. Psychologists also encourage their active participation during the patient’s treatment and care.

Source: flickr.com

Adequate care and a stable support system from both family members and doctors are vital. These will promote the overall welfare of a cancer patient. Hence, seeking help and counsel from experts aside from your usual oncologists do not hurt to give it a try.

Anger And Frustration In Cancer Patients

Source: crisisprevention.com

How would you feel if you receive the bad news from your doctor saying that you have cancer? No matter how rampant cases of cancer or a number of people are diagnosed to have cancer, it is still extremely devastating especially if it is you, your family member or a dear friend. Although that is an expected emotional response during the initial diagnoses, anger is very common in patients who have relapses. These patients have been increasingly frustrated going through the cycle of diagnoses and treatments over and over again.

So, how do we handle anger issues as a support person to them? Sometimes because of the heaviness of the situation, it is unavoidable as well that these patients displace their anger to the people around them such as the doctors, nurses, and caregivers. The initial step in taking control of anger and negative emotions towards this difficult situation is by accepting and recognizing the emotion. By this, we do not mean accepting the disease but more of being aware of our reactions and responses towards circumstances.

Finding a way to express anger is also helpful.

You must have an outlet to vent your emotions, talk about your feelings. Look for a confidante such as a friend, a colleague or people who had been diagnosed with cancer or cancer survivors who can truly understand what you are going through. People who can provide support and understanding in this difficult times. Sometimes people don’t need immediate solutions to their problems but having someone who could listen to their aches and pains can lessen the baggage already.

Source: jazzord.com

Divert your anger not on people but activities.

Pick productive hobbies such as doing your favorite exercise, go out with friends. However, some cancer patients especially those who are already undergoing treatments may lack the energy to do some activities. Chemotherapy, for example, have a lot of side effects that may drain energy, may cause a lack of appetite and even the interest in doing leisure. It is important that we remind these patients to be optimistic about their recovery and give them a light of hope.

Undergo counseling and therapy.

When things get tough and out of hand, getting help from licensed professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists can be helpful. Not only will they provide the necessary information about the nature of cancer but also on how to handle emotional outbursts and disappointments that patients may encounter on their road to recovery. They have the knowledge and experience when it comes to this matter. BetterHelp.com provided online therapy and patients with cancer can benefit from talking to one of their therapists or counselors.

Source: suanity.com

The thought processes of the patients with cancer are as complicated as the nature of their disease. Not only they suffer from the physical ill effects of cancer but its impact on their mental state which can even be worsened by medication side effects. It is like a roller coaster of guilt, blame, and anger on their end. Therefore, it is vital that caregivers extend their patience and understanding.

A Creative Way To Heal: How Therapists Could Help Through Art

A common hurdle in therapy is when patients find it difficult to put their feelings into words. Sometimes, in spite of the patients’ willingness to express themselves and seek help for their condition, they cannot control the fact that there is just something about speaking that sometimes, it is not always necessarily easy to do. Fortunately, there are other forms of therapy which help bridge the gap between patients and therapists.

Source: pixabay.com

Definition Of Art Therapy

According to the American Art Therapy Association, Art Therapy is a form which uses creative means as a way to express emotions. Whatever may be too difficult or complicated to put into words, patients can freely express them in writing, painting, drawing, coloring, sculpting, or any other form of art. It allows patients to re-discover themselves, know their emotions, deal with unresolved issues, and boost their confidence.

The term “Art Therapy” was coined by Adrian Hill in 1942, a British artist who discovered the health benefits of art, particularly painting and drawing, in helping him recover from tuberculosis. Other writers have also helped their patients to deal with their mental health issues during this time while being supervised by psychologists and other professionals.

Benefits Of Art Therapy

Source: flickr.com

What’s good with art therapy is that it fits all ages, its power works across all generations, and it can target various psychological, mental, and physical health issues. Research shows that art therapy can decrease feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. It is also able to help in patient’s anger and stress management. For those involved in drug-related issues, art therapy proves to be a useful diversion activity, thereby reducing the patients’ propensity for substance abuse.

Art therapy also has the effect of improving the patients’ focus and concentration, to reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity. It also aids the patients’ recovery with their cognitive impairments. Research suggests that through art therapy, patients with schizophrenia can see improvements in their mental states and reductions in their symptoms. It also helps those with dissociative identity disorder to gain a more profound sense of self.

Some studies also say that art therapy heals even physical health issues. Since it relaxes the body and mind, it can ease the patients’ fatigue. It normalizes the heart rate and allows for proper breathing. In some cases, it is also able to relieve patients from anorexia and bulimia, as well as other eating disorders.

In a study involving women diagnosed with cancer, art therapy was able to help them regain their self-worth and remember their social identity. Patients who have been chronically ill have reported restoring their strength and well-being. Even those with breast cancer have shown declining episodes of the recurrence of negative emotions.

Dynamics Between Patients And Therapists

The art masterpieces are both crucial and compelling means of revealing the patients’ overall psychological disposition. Art therapists are trained to recognize the meanings and thoughts behind these various forms of art that patients engage in. They can understand how the colors, texture, and strokes take part in the therapeutic process.

Source: defense.gov

For the patients, the exciting part is this does not apply only to actual painters, sculptors, photographers, and other artists. Anyone can use and benefit from art therapy. Art therapy only provides patients with another way, a different platform, and a unique method to express themselves without the pressure of using words or phrases. Although some patients may find doing art something to be unfamiliar at first, it becomes gratifying towards the end. With the help of art therapists, patients will soon find themselves comfortable to heal through art.

 

If you’re looking to start therapy, there are various online platforms which would allow you to meet with licensed therapists such as BetterHelp. In the midst of all the ups and downs of being diagnosed with anal cancer, here lies a beautiful fact: along with the proliferation of problems and challenges is also a multitude of ways to overcome them. Art therapy is just one of the many ways to do it.

 

Colon Polyps

Polyps are growths of abnormal tissue that latch onto the linings of the organs.   They are mostly associated with cells that make and release mucus and other liquids.   Polyps may differ in size and shape.   They can look like little flat bumps, small mushroom-like stalks, or like a grape.   Colon polyps are the most common type of polyps, but it can develop in various parts of the body like:

  • Ovary
  • Uterus
  • Throat
  • Stomach
  • Nose
  • Ear canalSource:  medbullets.com

Colon polyps are common intestinal growths of excess tissue that grows on stem or stalk in the inner wall of the colon.   Some colon polyps do not contain cancer cells, but others can be cancerous over time.

 

Causes and Contributing factors

There are multiple factors which could increase the risk of colon polyps:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Family history

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), is a rare inherited disorder where hundreds of polyps grow in the colon and rectum. These polyps, if left untreated, can cause colon cancer.

These risks can be lowered by:

  • Exercise
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Lessen the red meat and processed meat
  • Watch your weight
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Avoiding smoking

Signs and Symptoms

There are colon polyps that are asymptomatic.  It cannot be detected that you have polyps, unless, your doctor finds it while doing bowel examination.  But to some, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in stool color
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than a week
  • Crampy abdominal pain
  • Iron deficiency anemia

Source:  netdoctor.co.uk

Diagnosis and Tests

There are colon polyps that are non-cancerous, but some polyps can progress to cancer over time.  It can be determined by performing a biopsy.   The polyp is examined to check if it is the type which can become cancer.

The Barium enema is a form of x-ray procedure that is used to diagnose polyp.   The entire colon can also be thoroughly examined by colonoscopy.   Artificial intelligence has contributed so much to the improvement and advancement of the technology.   EndoBrain, a computer-aided endocytoscopy, significantly increase the accuracy and sensitivity of polyp detection.  Detection of small polyps raised up to more than 90%, and this technology can capture images during real-time endoscopy.

Treatment and Prevention

Studies show that increasing your calcium intake can help prevent recurrence of colon polyps that often lead to colon cancer.

Polyps can sometimes be cancerous.  There is a process called polypectomy where n polyps once seen inside the lining of the colon can be removed, making it less likely to be malignant.

Source:  singaporemedicalclinic.com

It is of importance to pay attention to signs and symptoms.  For ages 50 and above, be sure to be screened regularly.   If you think you have risk factors, such as family history of colon cancer, consider undergoing genetic counseling and to do regular screening colonoscopy starting in young adulthood.  Once you feel or have doubts, it is always best to see a doctor.  Early detection is better than cure.  Treatment increases the possibility of good prognosis.

 

Prevention Of Rectal Cancer

Source: empowher.com

A valuable old saying reminds us that “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. True enough, we only learn its value when we are already sick, agonizing in pain and full of resentment reaping the consequences of the abuse we made to our body and physical health. One of the most common types of cancer is colon cancer which includes rectal cancer. Like any other diseases, there are various ways that we can practice to prevent the development of cancer and for this article, we will focus on the prevention of a specific type which is Rectal Cancer.

Observe a healthy diet

It would be best to start with the basics such as having a healthy diet to evade rectal cancer. Avoid fatty foods and junk foods. Increase fluid intake and fiber. Eat lots of whole grains and vegetables. Regular exercise is a must. Avoid smoking at all costs as this not only will cause you lung cancer; smoke also passes through the esophagus and it can also affect your digestive tract. Avoid eating red meat such as beef and pork especially processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, and sausages.

Skip night caps

Alcohol is a very strange beverage when its health pros and cons are being considered. Although consuming alcohol (like red wine) in moderation has health benefits, having too much will predispose you to develop colon or rectal cancer. It would be best to drink lots of water and fruit juices that are low in fructose with fiber. In addition, you might want to consider supplementation as study shows that Calcium, Vitamin D, and Folate improves gut health.

Source: hurriyetaile.com

Regular physician visit and health screening

Colonoscopy is recommended for older people as they have an increased risk of developing colon or rectal cancer. If you are at least 60 years old, it is suggested that you undergo colonoscopy to assess for the presence of polyps in your colon. Go to your physician for an executive check up every six months.

Watch out for initial signs

Be aware of the early warning signs and symptoms of colon or rectal cancer, although that would depend on which part of the digestive system is affected. But generally, it will include changes in both eating and bowel habits, stomach pain, and the presence of blood in the stool. These could be signs and symptoms of other conditions as well, so consulting with a specialist near you is important in order to determine the specific health condition that you may have. With this said, there is a management and treatment program for you. Click here for more information: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/ 

Source: northshore.org

There are many factors that cannot be modified such as genetics or having a family history of colon cancer, but taking precautionary measures are of equal importance. Having pre-existing diseases of the digestive tract such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s, and gastric ulcer can also increase the risk of colon cancer. Thus, it is essential that preventive measures must be observed.

Anal Cancer Study And Breakthrough

source: ales.amegroups.com

Sometime in August 2017, a team of researchers and scientists at The Christie and The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom have reported a promising medical breakthrough about anal cancer. There is an improvement in the process of detecting anal cancer and also of how to proceed with its treatment. It’s not only centered on anal cancer. This breakthrough can also benefit other types of cancer illnesses.

Statistics on Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is somewhat rare and not that common. It is more likely for a person to develop rectal cancer as compared to anal cancer. As of 2017 in the United States, there were 8,200 new cases of anal cancer. 36% of that is male, and the more significant percentage are women patients. 1,100 people died of anal cancer this year.

It may not be an alarming number. Still, this is a serious condition that needs to be dealt with vigorously. This research by The Christie and The University of Manchester will indeed help save lives. The work of these specialists will be evidence as to how the medical field will move forward on anal cancer detection and treatment systems.

source: jaoa.org

Study on Anal Cancer

Lancet Oncology published the study. It is a journal and forum regarding clinical practices worldwide. The Bowel Disease Research Foundation is responsible for sponsoring this research.

About 10,000 respondents participated in the study. Recent methods of detecting anal cancer were the focus of the research – if it would produce accurate results, assuming the disease has spread to the lymph nodes. They worked with anal cancer centers situated in Leeds and Switzerland.

The point of the study is that if cancer has flowed to the lymph nodes, the survival rate of the cancer patient is meager and the prognosis would be at its worst.

The researchers discovered an overestimation in the assessment of lymph nodes. It also means that the patients receive an excess of medication because of the overestimated lymph nodes evaluation. It can cause terrible side effects and oncologists try to skip it.

This breakthrough is essential for future assessments on anal cancer and treatment systems available for it. By understanding this overstatement, all future work about anal cancer prognosis and treatment will be taken into consideration and for its betterment.

source: verywell.com

A consultant of the study and professor of the University of Manchester named Andrew Renehan also happens to be the head of Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) Anorectal Organ Preservation Research Group. In an interview, Renehan mentioned that the results of this study had provided enough information to improve care for cancer patients.

He also stressed out that because of the study, anal cancer patients will now be treated as they should be, without overage in their medicine. It will improve the well-being of the patients, their quality of life and ultimately, push them forward to surviving cancer.

Thoughts of an Anal Cancer Survivor

One anal cancer survivor by the name of Jill De Nardo spoke about the side effects she experienced for seven years while in treatment. While she knows that she is lucky to have survived the ordeal, she said that the excruciating discomfort brought about by the overstatement in her meds are almost unbearable, like the chronic joint pain and continence problems. However, she is positive that with the emergence of this study, everything will be prepped accordingly in the future.

*

Most anal cancer patients, aside from chemo and radiation therapy, resort to counseling. ReGain might be able to help.

Palliative Care Options For End Stage Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer 

Source: Health.usnews.com

Technically, cancer of the colon is cancer of the tissues of the colon, which is located below the large intestine. It is among the most prevalent cancers today, and following closely is rectal cancer, which is the growth of cancer cells in the rectum.

People who have colon cancer are most likely candidates for surgery, which is frequently the first option for the treatment of this type of cancer. Others treatments include radiation and chemotherapy, two procedures utilized to help minimize manage the spread of the cancer cells.

However, when surgery, chemo, and radiation can no longer control the spread of cancer, your family – or perhaps you as the cancer patient – may opt to receive palliative care.

 

Colon Cancer and Palliative Care

Palliative care is a type of care that revolves around managing the patient’s stress and the current symptoms that he is experiencing everyday. It is often referred to as supportive care or symptom management. Nevertheless, no matter how it is called, palliative care is an integral part of caring for the colon cancer patient.

One must keep in mind, though, that palliative care management does not in any way cure cancer itself. It only attempts to make the patient as comfortable as he can be in tackling his end-stage disease.

Source: Chifranciscan.org

Improving the patients’ quality of life is the ultimate goal of palliative care treatment. It does require the family to coordinate with the medical team, which consists of the patient’s primary doctor, oncologist, and nurses. It would be easier for the oncologist to deal with the patient when the family is with them throughout the treatment.

 

How Palliative Care Can Help the Colon Cancer Patient

When a patient undergoes surgery, he may experience pain and tenderness on the surgical wound. Other treatments may also cause bowel impaction and blocks at the large intestine region. These are some cases where the patient is recommended to undergo ostomy, a procedure that involves creating a hole in the skin so that bowel is eliminated through there.

Radiation therapy can be quite distressing for the patient. Some of its side effects include the change in skin color, which can be embarrassing for the patient, causing him to feel insecure and depressed. He may also experience fatigue, loose bowels, stomachaches, and reproductive issues. The palliative care team can tremendously help patients ease their symptoms and provide comfort where needed.

Chemotherapy, on the other hand, can cause hair loss, vomiting, mouth sores and nerve damage. Most of these side effects are countered by medications, but the palliative care team is required to provide stress management strategies. It is also responsible for communicating with the team of doctors handling the patient.

Source: Bowelcanceraustralia.org

There are other additional symptoms that are associated with colon cancer, most of which take a toll on the patients’ self-image and confidence levels. Through all this, the palliative care team can tremendously help in controlling symptoms, managing the patient’s quality of life, and preventing and resolving other physical, mental and emotional issues. They can even assist in finding a therapist near the area that can help the patient cope with his daily challenges.

If you or someone you love is suffering from end-stage colon cancer, consult your doctor about having palliative care in guiding you as you make small and big decisions, and making it easy for you to communicate with your team of doctors. Palliative care is not the last option. It is the earliest – and probably the best – option you can take.