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How do I manage my rectal cancer on a daily basis?

You may notice problems with your bowel movements, in which case you should notify your doctor immediately. If rectal cancer is causing your bowel problems, you will need to have the cancer removed. Your doctor will discuss the extent of the surgery with you, as well as what to expect during recovery. At early stages, cancer can be removed during a routine colonoscopy.

Depending on how advanced your rectal cancer is and on its exact location, you may or may not need a colostomy. A colostomy is a procedure that connects your colon to an opening in your skin created by your doctor. Instead of passing through your rectum, waste passes through this hole into a colostomy bag. A colostomy can require some alterations in your lifestyle, so talk with your doctor about how to adjust. You also may feel side effects from chemotherapy or radiation treatment, which you should discuss with your doctor.

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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.