Support for Colon and Rectal Cancer in Los Angeles

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Where To Turn For Support with A Diagnosis of Colon or Rectal Cancer In Los Angeles.

The diagnosis of colon cancer or rectal cancer can be devastating physically and psychologically.  Often, the diagnosis is unexpected, turning lives upside down.  Prior plans become meaningless.  Life’s small daily joys are clouded and happiness can turn to anxiety and fear.  When patients hear that the course of treatment and evaluation may last for five years (until a cure is announced), patients are often reduced to living a minute by minute, day by day existence.  In Los Angeles, and in all cities, there are support systems in place to help with coping.  Colon and rectal surgeons, also known as proctologists, are your initial beacon of hope and support.

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What First?

Often, there is no suspicion that anything is amiss.  Or, there may be symptoms of colon or rectal cancer, such as rectal bleeding, altered bowel habits, anal pain, weight loss or an abnormal blood test showing anemia (a decrease in the number of red blood cells, usually due to microscopic bleeding in the bowel movement.)  With symptoms, come diagnostic efforts, usually, some type of colon evaluation.  Colonoscopy is currently the diagnostic procedure of choice.

Once a diagnosis is established, things begin to move quickly, often in a dizzying fashion.  Numerous consultants are seen, including an internist, a radiation therapist, an oncologist, perhaps nurses and social workers.  At this point, a best friend or trusted family member can help to keep all of the information straight and the appointments in order.  It can become a challenge to listen in light of the overwhelming amount of scheduling and information.  Trust your friends and family to help you.


Your doctors really do have your best interest at heart.  Each of your physicians wants to do his or her best for you.  Trust them.  They, and their staffs will get you from point A to Z.  Let them help you.  As you begin to recover your emotional equilibrium, you may begin to be able to take notes.  Use your notes.  You are getting back to standing on your own two feet.  Trust yourself.  Your compass will guide you.


After the operation is completed, you may or may not need chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.  Also, by this point, you may have discovered the power of the clergy, support groups, nursing personnel and your own courage.  All of these will help.  The staff at Cedars-SinaiMedicalCenter can help to guide you in finding outside support.

Search online for support groups in your area.  It would be best to maintain human contact with those who are or have been in similar situations.  Online groups, while available, may not be the best for you.  The human voice and touch are invaluable.

All in all, use what is available to you.  But, after the initial shock, trust yourself and believe in yourself while allowing others to help.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

The surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates have many combined years of diagnosing and treating colon and rectal cancers.  The surgeons know how to listen as well.  Your first step should be a phone call to (310)273-2310 to begin the confidential consultation process.  They will partner with you and help you as you move from A to Z.

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