Q: What side effects might I experience when undergoing colorectal cancer treatment?
A:Though treatment for colorectal cancers can be effective in fighting the disease, it is not uncommon for some side effects to appear due to the treatments. There are several different treatment options available for colorectal cancer patients depending on what kind of cancer it is and the stage it has reached. Every course of treatment for colorectal cancer, whether it is surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, has its share of side effects.
If surgery is undergone to remove the cancer from the colon or rectum, one of the most common side effects is fatigue. Surgery often leaves the patient feeling temporarily tired and weak. In addition, some other side effects from surgery can include constipation, diarrhea or localized skin irritations.
If chemotherapy is recommended by your doctor, some of the side effects you might experience include fatigue, bruising, hair loss, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea and diarrhea.
Radiation therapy, should it be recommended, has side effects as well. When applied to the pelvic or abdominal region, some of the side effects can include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloody stool, rectal leakage and discomfort during urination. It's important to note that most of these side effects can be monitored and treated by your doctor.