Colorectal Cancer Treatment Recovery: What to Expect

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The side effects of treatment for people undergoing metastatic colon cancer is really dependent on what the treatment is. From a standpoint of surgery, if you're getting over an operation where a portion of your liver was resected or a portion of your lung was resected, you're talking about getting over the pain of the surgery, getting back to your normal living, and just getting over the fatigue.

You should improve week by week by week, up until about three or four weeks, when you should be back pretty much to normal. When it comes to chemotherapy, the side effects are really dependent on the combination of drugs that are used.

Some of the drugs that you may be treated with are in the platinum categories. And those drugs tend to cause what we call a peripheral neuropathy. And you'll get sort of a numbness and tingling in your feet and toes.

Then some of the other drugs that are used in colorectal cancer, the major complications are diarrhea and nausea. I would say, in this era, a good majority of patients can still go to work. You just can't tell. So I usually tell people, just see how you do for the first treatment or two.

The issue is that most complications the potentials are known. But how the individual patient reacts is the unknown. You just don't know. So it's best to see how you tolerate the treatment. And if you do fine, then just keep working. Because I think it keeps you active. It keeps you thinking about other things. And you'll do better.