5 Facts To Know About A Rectal Cancer Prognosis
A cancer diagnosis can be frightening, but these 5 facts to know about a rectal cancer prognosis can help you get an idea of what is likely to follow an initial diagnosis. Detailed conversation with your doctor and oncologist can clarify many aspects of your treatment as well as your prognosis, so be sure to follow up to ensure you get all the facts about your individual case.
The initial diagnosis does not determine treatment. After rectal cancer is diagnosed, the doctors will perform a series of tests to determine the stage of the disease. Rectal cancer, like other forms of cancer, progresses through stages. The stage you are experiencing will determine your treatment and your prognosis. At stage zero or one, treatment is less invasive and often highly effective. At stage four, after cancer has spread to other areas of the body, treatment is more complex and the prognosis not as good.
- A prognosis is just a prediction. The prognosis for rectal cancer, as for any cancer, is just a prediction based on various factors such as the extent to which the cancer has spread, your overall health and other issues that might affect your response to treatment. Only after treatment has been completed can you know exactly how you will respond and what the long-term effects will be.
- Surgical treatment is less invasive. Surgery to treat rectal cancer is usually performed through laparoscopic procedures, meaning that incisions will be small and the overall invasive nature of the surgery is greatly reduced. The recovery time is also less than with traditional surgery. These procedures have been refined over time and are highly effective for removing precancerous or malignant polyps from the rectum and colon, so it is possible to have a positive prognosis for recovery without having to undergo extensive surgery.
Everyone's experience is different. It is tempting to look at a friend or a relative's case and judge what your experience will be based on what happened to them. However, this is not an accurate assessment of how your treatment will proceed or what your prognosis might be. Just because someone you know had specific problems or issues does not mean you will.
- There is a great deal of support available. Though people once did not talk extensively about rectal cancer, it has been brought into the open in recent years by individuals dedicated to preventing and fighting this deadly disease. This means that support is widely available for those facing a rectal cancer diagnosis. It has been shown that people who have support through their battle with cancer often face a much better prognosis than those who attempt to fight alone.
Regardless of your diagnosis and the prognosis provided by your doctor, be sure to ask questions, get answers and find out everything you can about how to live with this disease. In the long run, your chances of beating rectal cancer will be better if you remain informed.