Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent
There is no sure way to prevent colorectal cancer from returning or showing up in other parts of your body. After you have had it, your risk of having it again increases. When it comes back, it is called metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer. It often comes back after surgery, especially if it was not discovered when it was in an early stage.Reference 2
But there are lifestyle changes that can help you after treatment. Research shows that these things may help:Reference 3
- Reference Quitting smoking, if you smoke
- Keeping a healthy Reference body mass index (BMI) Opens New Window
- Being physically active with Reference Reference regular exercise
- Eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish
- Eating less red meat, refined grains, and sweets
Initial treatment for colorectal cancer is followed by regular doctor visits and screening to help catch the cancer if it returns.
The frequency of your follow-up visits and how often you have more tests will depend on your general health and the type of colorectal cancer you had. As part of your follow-up visits, you may have:
- Reference Physical exams. In general, you will see a doctor every 3 to 6 months for several years, and then less often after that.
- Reference Colonoscopy to look at the inside of your intestine for new problems.
- Reference Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) blood test to check whether colorectal cancer has returned.
- Reference Chest X-rays to find out whether cancer has returned to involve your lungs.
- Lab tests, such as a Reference complete blood count and Reference chemistry screen, to look for evidence of cancer.
- A Reference computed tomography (CT) scan Opens New Window or Reference magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Opens New Window to look inside your body.
- A Reference positron emission tomography (PET) scan Opens New Window to look for and check any signs of cancer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal