What to Do After a Colon Cancer Diagnosis

What to do after a colon cancer diagnosis isn’t anything most of us prepare for. The first reaction might be to sit down and take a deep breath. There is much you need to know, there are many questions to ask, and there will be treatment options to consider. None of this will be easy, so it’s important you have the right doctors to guide you through this frightening time in your life.

Doctor comforting patient after diagnosis.

Get the Facts

First you should find out where the cancer is and if it has spread. What stage it is, how advanced it is, and if it is slow growing or aggressive are also some early questions you will want answered. 

The Stage of the Cancer Is Critical Information

Southwest Diagnostic Center For Molecular Imaging should be able to tell you the stage of the cancer after doing the colonoscopy and reviewing imaging tests.

Stage 1: The tumor is in the wall of the colon and has only grown into the inner wall.

Stage 2: The tumor has grown into the muscle layer of the colon.

Stage 3: The tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes in the abdomen around the colon.

Stage 4:  The tumor has spread into other parts of the body like the liver, lungs, distant lymph nodes or bones.

This information will determine your treatment options.

Ask Questions and Take Notes

Getting organized at this point is important. Get a notebook to be used exclusively for information about your cancer. You will be having multiple meetings with your doctor and care team, and it will be difficult to remember everything unless it is written down.

Bringing a friend or loved one is helpful to keep everything straight.

Treatment options can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, radiofrequency ablation, surgery, or targeted therapy. Find out which are being recommended or what combination and why.

Bring a list of questions you have at this point, and ask about support groups your care team can recommend.

Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

Contact Southwest Diagnostic Center For Molecular Imaging at (214) 345-8300 with any questions or concerns during your cancer treatment or if you would like a second opinion.