Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your treatment for metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer will depend on specific information about the cancer, your preferences, and your health.
Some cases of metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer can still be cured. When it cannot be cured, treatment can help you feel better and live longer.
Your treatment may include:
As your cancer gets worse, you may want to think about palliative care. Palliative care is a kind of care for people who have serious illnesses. It is different than care to cure your illness, called curative treatment. Palliative care focuses on improving your quality of life—not just in your body but also in your mind and spirit.
Palliative care may help you manage symptoms or side effects from treatment. It could also help you cope with your feelings about living with a long-term or terminal illness, make future plans around your medical care, or help your family better understand your illness and how to support you.
If you are interested in palliative care, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your care or refer you to a doctor who specializes in this type of care.
For more information, see the topic Palliative Care.
There may come a time when treatments to cure your cancer are no longer working. Or you may decide that you want to spend the time you have left in other ways and only have medical care that keeps you comfortable. If so, talk to your doctor about hospice care.
Hospice care is palliative care for people who are at the end of life, with about 6 months or less to live. Hospice caregivers are concerned with enhancing the quality of your remaining life by keeping you as alert and comfortable as possible in a familiar environment with family and friends. Hospice programs offer services in your own home or in a hospice center, nursing home, or hospital.
You may wish to discuss health care and other legal issues that arise near the end of life with your family and your doctor. You may find it helpful and comforting to state your health care choices in writing (with an advance directive or living will) while you are still able to make and communicate these decisions. Think about your treatment options and which kind of treatment will be best for you. You may wish to choose a health care agent in case you become unable to speak for yourself.
Learning all you can about end-of-life issues may help you feel better. For more information, see one of the following topics:
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