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Rectal cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in your rectum.
If the tumour was small and had not spread, your doctor may have removed it during the colonoscopy. But you may need surgery to remove the cancer if the tumour was too big or had spread too far to be removed during a colonoscopy. If cancer has spread to another part of your body, such as the liver, you may need more far-reaching surgery.
Treatment for rectal cancer may also include radiation therapy. Medicines that destroy cancer cells, such as chemotherapy or targeted therapy, may be used. And medicines that work with your body's immune system, called immunotherapy, may also be used. Being treated for cancer can weaken your body, and you may feel very tired. Get the rest your body needs so that you can feel better.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: August 21, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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