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Social Difficulties Not Common with Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancers affect both men and women and have a propensity to cut across all socioeconomic and ethic lines. Considered among the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer, there are about 130,000 new cases reported annually in the United States alone.

While all forms of cancer can create social ramifications for patients, colorectal cancers are often thought to be among the worst. With some patients requiring potentially embarrassing temporary or lifetime treatment involving the use of colostomy procedures, concerns have run high that this form of the disease may have a greater impact than others on patients’ psyches. Researchers, however, are finding out this is simply not the case.

To find out more, researchers at the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology in the United Kingdom asked some 21,802 colorectal cancer patients about their social distress levels. They found that only about 15 percent of patients reported some degree of social distress with most saying they did not experience it at all.

While the findings were very encouraging, researchers do note that the 15 percent who reported back with difficulties could benefit from more targeted support in the days, weeks and months following diagnosis. Treatment for colorectal cancer, or any form of cancer for that matter, can take its toll on a person mind and body both. Having a strong social support system can prove vital for producing positive outcomes and can help patients better face treatment and the side effects that may go along with it.

People who are high risk for colorectal cancers are urged to discuss the topic with their healthcare providers. Early screening and removal of polyps can greatly reduce complications associated with this disease. Those who are at higher risk for this form of cancer are urged to undergo routine, regular screening procedures to keep this potentially fatal disease at bay.

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