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Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Home Treatment

Managing side effects

During your treatment, you can help manage your side effects and symptoms at home. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat these problems, be sure to also use them.

Try home treatments for:

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  • Nausea or vomiting, such as ginger tea, peppermint candy or gum. Be sure to drink enough fluids so that you don't get dehydrated.
  • Pain, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, heat packs, or cold packs. Talk to your doctor before using any home treatment for pain. To learn more, see the topic Cancer Pain.
  • Diarrhea, such as taking small, frequent sips of water and bites of salty crackers.
  • Constipation, such as getting plenty of water and fiber in your diet. Don't use a laxative without first talking to your doctor.

Other problems that can be treated at home include:

  • Sleep problems. If you have trouble sleeping, try having a regular bedtime, getting exercise daily, and avoiding caffeine late in the day.
  • Feeling very tired. If you lack energy or become weak easily, try to get extra rest. Plan your schedule to make the most of the energy you have.
  • Mouth sores. Watch what you eat and drink. Rinse your mouth regularly with mouthwash or a liquid antacid.

In general, healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise may help control your symptoms.

Managing stress

Having cancer can be very stressful. Finding new ways to handle stress may help you feel better.

For example, you could:

  • Try techniques to reduce your stress, such as yoga and visualization exercises.
  • Talk about your feelings. Your cancer treatment center may offer counseling services and support groups.
  • Ask your doctor to help you find other sources of support and information.

Your feelings about your body may change after treatment. Dealing with your body image may involve talking openly with your partner about your worries and discussing your feelings with a doctor.

Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to find a support group. Talking with other people who have had similar experiences can be very helpful.

Having cancer can change your life in many ways. For help with managing these changes, see the topic Getting Support When You Have Cancer.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 29, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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