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Treatment

Debbie Bissett

For most of us, being diagnosed with bowel cancer is a terrible shock. The next few weeks will probably be an emotional roller coaster for you, your family and friends.

If you have just been diagnosed you will probably be told you need an operation and further tests to find out whether there has been any spread into the lymph nodes or other organs of the body. You may have to have scans, either CT or MRI, to help them assess what treatment you might need.

    CT stands for Computer Tomography - detailed X-ray scans of particular parts of the body. MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging, provides high quality three dimensional images inside your body without radiation.

    A few words of comfort - having lymph glands affected doesn't mean the worst. Lynn's cancer had reached her glands but the cancer did not spread and today she is cured.
    • it is important to get support to see you through the next few weeks. Most hospitals now have a bowel specialist nurse to help you. If not, ask for the name and telephone number of someone you can contact if you need help. Ask if you can meet other patients in your area.
    • Charities like CancerBacup and Macmillan can be very helpful for support. The Association of Coloproctology website has information leaflets about various types of operation which might be helpful - www.acpgbi.org.uk and click on 'public information'

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