Doctor’s Advice for Caregivers of Colon Cancer Patients

What are some needs of caregivers of colon cancer patients?

caregivers of colon cancer patientsCaregivers of colon cancer patients have needs just as patients do. Dr. Madappa Kundranda talks about what those needs are and how to make sure they are met. He advises caregivers of colon cancer patients to do a half an hour of exercise a day to help maintain their physical health.

Having a support system to lean on is important for a caregiver’s mental health. Anxiety and depression can accompany trying times, so make sure you are letting others know how you feel. We are social creatures, so having others around is necessary for our social health.

Video Transcripts

Madappa Kundranda, MD: Here is some advice that I would give to the caregivers of a newly diagnosed colon cancer patient.

Patients with colon cancer and their caregivers tend to have several different requirements and needs. This is important because when you are diagnosed with colon cancer, there is huge amount of burden that shifted from the patient to the caregiver, who is caring for the patient and also having a life of their own, be it being the sole breadwinner or the like. So, the three main important things that I would like to focus on in the context of the caregiver revolves around.

Number one, the physical health, why is that important? That is because we know that when patients or any individuals are under a lot of stress, there are several things that can cause your immune system to be suppressed and hence make you susceptible to developing infections and the like. Hence, at least maintaining about half an hour of exercise a day is important in keeping your immune system at its optimum and helping and preventing having any diseases.

Number two, in addition to that is to maintain your mental health. What does that mean and why is it important? That is because when patients are diagnosed with cancer, they tend to have varying degrees of depression or a depressed mood and the same thing can be said for caregivers who are caring for their loved ones and some of these being terminal conditions. Hence, having a support system that helps in maintaining your mental health, be it a chaplain at church, be it family or friends, be it using yoga or other relaxation techniques is extremely important in maintaining this component of your general well-being.

The third component of this would be a social health. What is social health? Man is a social human being and hence you need that social support, whether it is through joys that you are going through life or whether it is through times of distress wherein you need somebody to help you through this. Hence, having a social support system, be it people at church, be it your family and friends or even other caregivers is extremely important when you go through this journey.

Madappa Kundranda
Dr. Madappa Kundranda obtained his medical degree from Bangalore University in India, before earning a PhD in cancer biology from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Dr. Kundranda next completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital. He then finished a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. He is currently a medical oncologist with Western Regional Medical Center.


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