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Prognosis for Stage 4 Colon Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis for stage IV colon cancer can be devastating but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Colon cancer at this stage may not be curable since it will have spread to several other parts of the body but life still goes on for patients.

Treatment will include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy or a combination of any of these. There will be follow-up visits after treatment, especially to help manage side effects from the treatment.

With colon cancer, the likelihood of it recurring within the first five years after treatment is high. Having regular visits with the oncologist will help catch it in good time if it does return. There are other treatment options that the doctor may suggest. They include:

  • Clinical trials

In the event that several treatment methods don’t work or don’t work anymore, clinical trials are an option. This involves taking part in trials for new colon cancer treatments that have not yet been released to the masses to test if they work and are safe. 

  • Palliative care

In addition to the medical aspect of treatment, patients require extra support to manage their spiritual, emotional and social health as they deal with a major illness. It is meant to improve the patient’s quality of life and should begin at diagnosis. It involves several professionals including nutritionists, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers as well as doctors and nurses.

  • Healthy living

Aside from the treatment options, staying healthy is essential. This means eating a balanced diet, no smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, getting some physical exercise regularly and taking any screening tests the doctor recommends.

Many times, patients want to know how much time they have left but these figures aren’t always conclusive. Every case is different and is dependent on several things including health, age, the location of the cancer and the treatment used. Treatments are also improving and so are the survival statistics, with some treatments slowing down progression of the cancer.

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