Your care pathway
Whatever treatment pathway you choose, you will continue to be closely monitored after treatment for secondary bowel cancer. Any further recurrent disease can be picked up quickly in this way, and treated again by the most appropriate specialist, as and when needed.
Survival rates for patients with secondary bowel cancer are improving all the time. This is, in part, thanks to good communication and collaboration between all the specialist members of the multi-disciplinary team. They will look at your individual case together and work out what treatments are likely to give you the best possible outcomes, both in terms of quality of life and overall survival.
Your doctor or nurses may refer you to other healthcare professionals who can provide you with ‘supportive care’. These services are there to help people and their families cope with a cancer diagnosis and can include the following:
- Symptom control
- Social, emotional and spiritual support
- Practical and financial support.
Supportive care can be received by patients from the point of diagnosis whether the intent of the treatment is to cure the cancer, or to provide symptom relief.
If your cancer is very advanced or has recurred, your multi-disciplinary team may recommend a palliative approach to care. This means that they will treat symptoms to improve quality of life, rather than offer more invasive interventions which may not make you feel any better or give you any tangible benefits in overall survival.
For more information on this care pathway, please see Palliative Care.