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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Colorectal cancer starts in the large intestine (colon) or rectum.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your oncologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Drink liquids as directed: Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. If you have nausea or diarrhea from cancer treatment, extra liquids may help decrease your risk of dehydration.
- Eat healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. This may help you feel better during treatment and decrease side effects. You may need to change what you eat during treatment. Do not eat foods or drink liquids that cause gas, such as cabbage, beans, onions, or soda. A nutritionist may help to plan the best meals and snacks for you.
Contact your oncologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You cannot control your diarrhea or constipation.
- You vomit multiple times and cannot keep any food or liquids down.
- Your pain is worse or does not go away after you take your pain medicine.
- You see blood in your bowel movements.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.