Patients & Visitors

Colorectal

Follow up Treatment

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Pathology

After your operation, the piece of bowel containing the cancer will be sent for examination to a pathologist (a doctor who has been trained to examine in detail, tissue cells under a microscope).

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Multi Disciplinary Meeting

Depending on the report from the pathologist, it may be appropriate for you to undergo chemotherapy.

The decision as to whether you may benefit from chemotherapy is made at a multi disciplinary meeting (MDM) which involves the surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and the colorectal nurses.

The colorectal nurse will tell you the outcome of this meeting and whether you will be sent an appointment to discuss it with an oncologist.

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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy may be offered to you after your surgery. Chemotherapy is a treatment given to the whole body.

The medication can be given in the form of an injection into a vein in your arm or in tablet form.

Sometimes a small plastic tube can be inserted into your chest and can stay there for the duration of the chemotherapy and be used each time you have chemotherapy to avoid using different veins in your arm each time.

Before each treatment you will have a blood test. One of the reasons for this is to check the state of your immune system as while you are undergoing chemotherapy you are less able to fight infections.

The blood test checks that you have enough healthy blood cells to protect you from infection before your treatment.

Side Effects

Most of the drugs commonly offered to treat bowel cancer do not have severe side effects. Hair loss and vomiting are NOT routinely expected, unlike some other types of chemotherapy.

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Follow Up

You will be seen at about 6 weeks after your discharge to check you are recovering well.

Recent studies have shown that it is not necessary for you to be seen for a regular follow up by a specialist doctor.

Your GP will be sent the results of any scans that you have as a follow up and your surgeon may send you a letter.


Next Section: Bowel Cancer Staging System





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