How Will My Life Change after Chemotherapy for Colorectal Cancer?

What changes can I make to my daily habits after chemotherapy for colorectal cancer?

chemotherapy for colorectal cancerPatients currently receiving chemotherapy for colorectal cancer often wonder how their lives will change during treatment. Dr. Christopher Lieu tells patients that each case is different. His job is to balance an aggressive treatment plan with the patient’s quality of life. He advises continuing your daily routine as normally as possible.

Taking steps toward a more active lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to fight fatigue related chemotherapy. If you can continue working during chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, Dr. Lieu says to do so. He also recommends patients exercise as much as possible and be sure to eat a healthy diet.

Christopher Lieu, MD: Patients that are currently receiving chemotherapy for their colorectal cancer often ask do I need to change my daily habits? The honest answer is that you will certainly have some side effects to chemotherapy and that varies widely from person to person and certainly the job of the medical oncologist is to make sure that we treat the colorectal cancer aggressively because again oftentimes the goal here is to prevent the colorectal cancer from coming back, but to balance being aggressive with also making sure that the patient’s quality of life remains intact

So the advice I typically give to my patients that are receiving chemotherapy is to continue their daily habits and their lifestyle as normal as possible. In fact, one of the best things that you can do while receiving chemotherapy is to get up and move around as the best thing that you can do to fight fatigue related to chemotherapy. And so, I often encourage my patients to continue working. If they feel they want to do that, I certainly encourage them to get as much exercise as they can and certainly ask them to remain eating a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Christopher Lieu
Dr. Lieu joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor in July 2011. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Colorado, where he also served as a Chief Medical Resident. He completed his fellowship training in medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and served as the Chief Medical Oncology Fellow in 2010.


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