New help to explain treatments for colorectal cancer

To help patients and their families better understand how different treatments work to cure colorectal cancer, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology has published the new patient information brochure Radiation Therapy for Colorectal Cancer: Facts to Help People Understand Their Treatment Options.

"Trying to sort through and make sense of the different treatments available can be an overwhelming experience for people with colorectal cancer," said Louis Harrison, M.D., Chair of the ASTRO Communications Committee and a radiation oncologist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. "We hope this brochure will help patients learn about the different types of treatments available to allow them to make the best decision for their cancer and their lifestyle."

This year, about 147,000 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the colon and rectum. This disease affects both men and women equally. However, many patients are not aware that radiation therapy is often combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy to eradicate the cancer.

To help inform patients of their treatment options, ASTRO has taken the initiative in developing an up-to-date brochure that patients can use to talk with their healthcare providers when contemplating radiation therapy as part of their treatment. The brochure also helps patients find support groups and information on clinical trials.

Patients and patient advocacy organizations can request free copies of the brochure by calling Beth Bukata or Nick Lashinsky at 1-800-962-7876 or e-mailing [email protected] or [email protected] The brochure can also be viewed online at www.astro.org/patient/.

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