Recommended Palliative Care Practices for Colon Cancer Patients

While dealing with colon cancer, the palliative care team at Regional Cancer Care Associates is here to help make sure you or your loved one feels comfortable and supported every step of the way. The purpose of palliative care is not to cure cancer, but to help manage any symptoms and side effects.

For colon cancer patients, palliative care can mean anything from providing pain relief to assisting in the alleviation of anxiety and depression. Depending on the progression of the disease and the type of treatment a patient is receiving, palliative care protocols may be adjusted to accommodate each new need.

Caring for Symptoms

After colon cancer is initially diagnosed, the patient is likely to experience blockages, pain, problems with bowel movements, difficulties eating and feelings of worry, anxiety, fear and depression. Sometimes, medication and certain procedures can help address these physical and emotional symptoms, whereas other times, counseling and support might be what the patient needs to feel better.

Care During Treatment

Even though palliative care doesn’t cure cancer, it can be used in combination with treatment. This is because most of the common treatment regimens for colon cancer involve chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, all of which can lead to uncomfortable side effects.

These side effects may include tiredness, weakness, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, nerve damage, pain, sores, skin reactions, upset stomach, loose bowel movements and more. If left untreated, these side effects can drastically reduce the patient’s quality of life and compromise their ability to fight back against the disease.

This is where the palliative care team comes in. From helping to procure wigs to administering medication to developing an optimal nutrition program, palliative care specialists actively work to help patients and their families feel better.

Other Types of Palliative Care

Palliative care isn’t just about physical symptoms. At RCCA, the staff works with each patient to make sure they’re doing well emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even financially. Because cancer impacts many aspects of a person’s life, palliative care often takes a multi-disciplinary approach.

Getting the Best Outcomes

Whether a colon cancer patient is in the middle of receiving treatment or he or she has progressed into hospice care, palliative support is critical to the patient’s well-being. Ideally, palliative care begins at diagnosis. Ask your own or your loved one’s medical team about palliative care help today.