What do I need to know about caring for someone with rectal cancer?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Someone with rectal cancer may need a colectomy.

A colectomy is major surgery, and someone will need time to recover afterwards before returning to his or her daily routine. Depending on the extent of rectal cancer, someone may also need a colostomy. Getting used to a colostomy can be stressful, so be patient and sensitive while someone adapts.

Advanced stages of rectal cancer usually require additional treatment with chemotherapy or radiation. These treatments can cause uncomfortable side effects, so talk with a doctor about how to alleviate these.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.