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Colorectal Cancer: Managing Your Medical Care: Diagnosis to Treatment Decision

Goals To Consider When Deciding About Whether To Take A Treatment

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Consider what is important to you. Prioritizing your goals will help when it comes time to making medical decisions. For instance, your goals may include one or more of the following:

  • Beating colorectal cancer.
  • Keeping a clear head because of work or family commitments.
  • The shortest period of time off work.
  • If you are going to have chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvic area, preserving the ability to have children. NOTE: If this is a goal of yours, you can bank sperm, eggs or fertilized eggs before treatment begins. (For more information, see the document in "To Learn More").
  • Minimal out of pocket expense. For example, a treatment covered by your health insurance.
  • Minimal amount of pain.
  • Treatment by a particular doctor.
  • A treatment center close to home.
  • Treatment in a particular hospital or treatment center.

It is not unheard of for people to have one or both of the following goals. They are mentioned separately because these goals can lead to deciding not to take a necessary treatment. Death is the almost inevitable result of refusing such treatment.

  • Avoiding incontinence of any kind for the long term.
  • Not having a temporary or a permanent ostomy bag.

It may help to list your goals on Survivorship A to Z's prioritizer. You can save the document and add to it over time. With the press of a button, your list will be reordered to your priorities.

Survivorship's treatment evaluator can help you compare treatments according to your goals. To see the evaluator, click here.

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