Taking an active role in your medical care is always a good idea. But it's especially important during colorectal cancer treatment. There are a lot of important decisions that you and your team of doctors need to make, so it's best if you work together.
Being diagnosed with colorectal cancer can make you feel helpless. Becoming involved in the treatment process can give you back a feeling of control. Here are some things you can do to make a partnership with your doctor work:
Be an active...
Sometimes colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver can be removed by surgery. But usually other treatments are needed, such as:
Radiofrequency ablation. A small wire that sends out radio waves is inserted into the tumor. The radio waves destroy the cancer that has spread to the liver without harming healthy tissue.
Cryosurgery. This may be done in surgery for cancer that has spread to the liver. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and destroy cancer cells.
Embolization. This shrinks a cancer that has spread to the liver by cutting off its blood supply.
Interstitial radiation therapy. In this type of internal radiation treatment, radioactive material sealed in needles, wires, seeds, or catheters is placed directly into the tumor or body tissue.
Intra-arterial hepatic chemotherapy. The surgeon implants a small pump in the belly that delivers chemotherapy right into the tumor. The pump can be left in place as long as needed.
Clinical trials are studies that look for new treatments. If you are interested, ask your doctor if there are trials you can take part in. The National Cancer Institute or your local chapter of the American Cancer Society can also help you find clinical trials.
People sometimes use complementary therapies along with medical treatment to help relieve symptoms and side effects of treatments. Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:
These treatments may help you feel better. They can make it easier to cope with cancer treatments. They also may reduce chronic low back pain, joint pain, headaches, and pain from treatments.
Before you try a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies. These treatments aren't meant to take the place of standard medical treatment. But they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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