After treatment for colon and rectal cancer
After your treatment is finished, you’ll have regular check-ups. These will usually continue for several years.
You may also have scans or x-rays, and sometimes colonoscopies. If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms in between check-ups, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
Many people feel anxious before their appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family, friends at this time.
After your treatment, it may be some time before you feel fit and well again. Living a healthy lifestyle can help your body recover more quickly and may help reduce the risk of cancer returning. A healthy lifestyle also reduces the risk of other illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is about making small, achievable changes to the way you live, which will improve your health and well-being. It includes having a well-balanced diet, keeping active, keeping to a healthy weight, reducing stress and not smoking.
If you are a smoker, giving up is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Our section on giving up smoking can give you information and tips on how to do this.
We have more information about eating well when you have cancer including a video about healthy diet, a slideshow about poor appetite, recipes and more.
You can increase the amount of physical activity you do slowly. Whatever your age or physical health, there will be some kind of exercise you could try, such as walking, hiking, cycling or swimming. Activities like gardening, dancing and playing sport are also good to try.
Having cancer can be a stressful experience. But there are things that can help. Make time to relax and do things you enjoy or that make you laugh. You may want to start a new hobby or evening class. Writing a journal or online blog may help.
You may want to learn some new ways of relaxing such as meditation or yoga. Some people find it helps to pray or think about spirituality.
For people whose treatment is over apart from regular check-ups, our section on life after cancer gives useful advice about keeping healthy and adjusting to life after treatment. We also have sections on exercise, diet, giving up smoking and your feelings after treatment.