According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. However, if discovered early, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable types.
Patients who are newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer experience a period of shock and disbelief. Successful management of this or any other serious disease requires good communication between the patient and his or her physician. Below are 10 important common-sense questions for newly-diagnosed patients to ask their doctor about colorectal cancer, excerpted from WebMd.
“1) How far has my cancer spread? 2) What are my chances for recovery? 3) What is your expereince in treating patients with this disease? 4) Am I likely to need a colostomy? If so, might it be permanent? 5) What specialists will I see in my treatment and recovery? What will their roles be? 6) Which postoperative treatments do you recommend, if any? Do I have any other options besides radiation or chemotherapy? 7) What side effects should I look for if I need those treatments? Whom should I call about any bothersome side effects? 8) How often should I be screened for recurrent cancer? 9) Is there any way to help prevent the return of my cancer?10) Can you recommend a good support group or resource where I can get more information?”
A good source for basic information about colorectal cancer is available through WebMD‘s cancer newsletter.