Have you been diagnosed with cancer?
Colorectal cancer treatment guideline: have regular check-ups with your doctor following diagnosis and treatment.
Colorectal Cancer is common in the United States and a leading cause of cancer death. However, due to early detection and improved treatment methods the number of deaths from colorectal cancer has decreased in the last 15 years.
If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and completed your treatments, you should know it is very important to see your doctor regularly for check-ups. During these visits, your doctors will ask about symptoms, do physical exams, and order various tests such as blood tests. This is needed to check for cancer recurrence or spread, as well as possible side effects with certain treatments.
What can you do?
Follow-up visits are needed over many years to find and remove growths before they become cancer. Besides regular check-ups, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy at one year after surgery. (A colonoscopy is an examination of the inside of the entire colon using a thin, lighted tube [called a colonoscope] inserted into the rectum. If abnormal areas are seen, tissue can be removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present). If this is normal, it should be repeated in 3 years. If that exam is normal, then you can wait 5 years for your next colonoscopy.
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