Life as a Survivor of Anal Cancer
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Anal cancer is a rare form of the disease. Still, there are treatments available to destroy or remove the cancer. In many cases, these treatments prove to be successful. The end of anal cancer treatment can be exciting and stressful at the same time. The patient may be relieved to find that the treatment was successful but it’s hard for them not to think about getting cancer again.
For some people, the anal cancer might never completely go away. They may need treatments to help keep their cancer in control. It can be very stressful and difficult to live with anal cancer. Life after the treatment means returning to a few familiar things and making a number of new choices.
Care After the Treatment
When treatment is over, the doctor of the patient will want to monitor them closely. It is therefore important that the patient attends all their follow-up appointments. In these visits, the doctor will inquire about problems the patient may have experienced and will carry out a physical examination. During the examination, a rectal exam will be performed and the doctor will also examine the anus.
Almost any treatment can cause side effects. Some may go away after a couple of weeks while others may last forever. The patient should ask their doctor about any problems or changes they have noticed.
Ask for a Care Plan
The patient should ask their doctor to create a care plan for them. Things that the plan might have include:
Keeping Copies of Medical Records
- A detailed schedule for the follow-up appointments and tests
- Suggestions relating to physical activity and diet
- A schedule for tests the patient might require in the near-future like screening for other kinds of cancer
- A list that includes possible short-term or long-term side effects of the anal cancer treatment
It is essential to keep a record of medical documents after the treatment. The patient might have to see another doctor who does not know about their medical history. Without medical records, they may not be able to provide the details required by the doctor for their diagnosis.
Lowing Risk of Anal Cancer Combing Back or Progressing
If a patient has anal cancer or had it in the past, they’d be interested in knowing if there is something they can do to lower the risk of cancer growing or coming back. Unfortunately, since anal cancer is uncommon, there isn’t much research done that can lead to creation of helpful resources.
Adopting healthy behaviors like not smoking, getting physical activity and eating well might help. However, there’s no research to show that these things can help.
Get Emotional Support
Feeling worried, anxious and depressed is normal for people who suffer from anal cancer. Everyone can benefit from support and help of other people, whether they are family and friends, professional counselors, support groups, or others.
For more information, feel free to contact us at Colon and Rectal Disease Center!
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