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Colorectal Cancer: Managing Your Medical Care: Diagnosis to Treatment: Stage IV

Colorectal Cancer Is Not What It Used To Be

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  • Things have become much better for men and women with colorectal cancer.
  • For many people with stage IV colorectal cancer, what used to be a fatal diagnosis has become a chronic condition.
  • What you know about what happened to other people with colorectal cancer is not necessarily what will happen to you. Even if another person's cancer is the same type as yours, every case is highly individual. No one can precisely predict what the course of your condition will be, or how any individual will respond to a particular treatment. This uncertainty is reason for hope.
  • Treatments today involve less chance of the need for an ostomy  and other side effects.
  • If an ostomy is more than temporary after treatment, there are a variety of tips that can help you return to a positive body image  and to have sex and intimacyExperience indicates that physical relations between couples ultimately return to being satisfying and loving. Single people can successfully return to dating.
  • Colorectal cancer can be talked about openly, even at work, if you choose to.
  • Emotional support from other people who are experiencing or have experienced colorectal cancer or caring for someone with the disease is available in group settings (support group or self help group) and/or one-on-one with a cancer buddy - including over the internet. (You can also learn a lot of practical information from other people dealing with the same situation). You can find a support group or a buddy by calling the Colon Cancer Alliance Hotline 877.422.2030 or by going to offsite link

For additional information about these subjects, see "To Learn More" immediately below.

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