Assessment

HISTORY. Seek information about the patient's usual dietary intake, family history, and the presence of the other major risk factors for colorectal cancer. A change in bowel pattern

242 Colorectal Cancer

(diarrhea or constipation) and the presence of blood in the stool are early symptoms and might cause the patient to seek medical attention. Patients may report that the urge to have a bowel movement does not go away with defecation. Cramping, weakness, and fatigue are also reported. As the tumor progresses, symptoms develop that are related to the location of the tumor within the colon.

When the tumor is in the right colon, the patient may complain of vague cramping or aching abdominal pain and report symptoms of anorexia, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and tarry-colored stools. A partial or complete bowel obstruction is often the first manifestation of a tumor in the transverse colon. Tumors in the left colon can cause a feeling of fullness or cramping, constipation or altered bowel habits, acute abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, and bright red bloody stools. In addition, rectal tumors can cause stools to be decreased in caliber, or "pencil-like." Depending on the tumor size, rectal fullness and a dull, aching perineal or sacral pain may be reported; however, pain is often a late symptom.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. Inspect, auscultate, and palpate the abdomen. Note the presence of any distension, ascites, visible masses, or enlarged veins (a late sign due to portal hypertension and metastatic liver involvement). Bowel sounds may be high-pitched, decreased, or absent in the presence of a bowel obstruction. An abdominal mass may be palpated when tumors of the ascending, transverse, and descending colon have become large. Note the size, location, shape, and tenderness related to any identified mass. Percuss the abdomen to determine the presence of liver enlargement and pain. A rectal tumor can be easily palpated as the physician performs a digital rectal exam.

PSYCHOSOCIAL. Individuals who observe healthy lifestyles may feel anger when the diagnosis is made. Treatment for colorectal cancer can result in a colostomy and impotence in men. Many persons have grave concerns about the possibility of these consequences. Assess the patient and his or her significant others' knowledge and feelings related to these issues.

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.

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