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"What is recovery like after colon cancer?"


My family friend has undergone chemo and had surgery. It's looking like she's going to recover from colon cancer!! I was just wondering what the recovery process is like and what we can do to help her.


This sounds like great news! It sounds like the worst part is already behind her! It does sound like she has gotten pretty standard treatment for routine colon cancer, which includes surgery to remove the tumor as well as chemotherapy to "catch" any microscopic cancers that may be left in the body but that were undetectable to the surgeon's eye. The basic followup after successful treatment for colon cancer involves regular visits with the surgeon or cancer doctor. At first these visits may be as frequent as every three months, and then they tend to be spaced out as long as the patient is still healthy and doing well.

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The purpose of these visits is to look for any danger signs that might be evidence of recurring cancer. At these visits, blood work for "tumor markers" that are associated with colon cancer are often check, as undetectable levels of these tumor markers is evidence that the cancer remains in remission, whereas rising levels may indicate that the cancer has come back. Additionally, after colon cancer people will often have significant physical therapy or other rehabilitation needs, as the surgery can be quite hard and can leave one quite debilitated. Your friend should discuss recovery in more detail with her surgeon or cancer doctor if she has additional questions.

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