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POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS There are several complications an individual can experience with colorectal bowel cancer. To name a few, potential complications of colorectal bowel cancer include: Blockage of the colon, which causes bowel obstruction. Cancer returning in the colon. Infection, blood clots and bleeding following the surgery. Difficulty drinking or eating.Cancer spreading to other organs or tissues. Hernia. Jaundice. Advanced bowel cancer (stages I to III). Formation of stoma. Formation of fissures, strictures, and fistulas. (“Colorectal cancer”, 2022 Colorectal Bowel Cancer SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS Colorectal bowel cancer has several signs and symptoms. Some people may experience general symptoms while others could experience more severe symptoms. Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer depend on the location, shape, and size of the lesion. This includes the following: Abdominal pain, bloating, frequent gas, or cramping. Change in bowel habits such as constipation, loose stools, more frequent bowel movement, constipation, and narrower stool. Anaemia (tiredness, weakness, or breathlessness). Rectal bleeding or blood in stool. A lump in the anus or rectum. Palpable mass. Tenesmus. (Nurgali & Wildbore, 2019). RISK FACTORS Bowel cancer is cancer in any part of the large bowel, either the colon or rectum. (“Bowel cancer”, 2021). There are several factors that may increase the risk of an individual developing this condition. In saying this, these factors include: Consuming large amounts of processed and red meat. Alcohol consumption (more than two drinks per day). Smoking (more than two packs a day). Not exercising regularly. Unhealthy high fat diet/obesity. (BMI > 25) Age (50+ risk increases). Family history (3 in 10 cases). Genetic mutation (1 in 10 cases). Inflammatory bowel disease (Chron’s disease and Ulcerative colitis). Colon Polyps (“Bowel cancer (colon and rectal cancer)”, 2020) Colorectal Bowel Cancer NURSING PRIORITIY – PERSON-CENTRED CARE DURING THE PERIOPERATIVE PERIOD Person-centred care implies having access to a medical care professional that is emotionally and physically present through a perioperative process. According to Health Direct (2020), colorectal cancer occurs in the anal canal, rectum, or the large intestines. In saying this, bowel cancer often begins from small growths in the adenomas (polyps) or the inner lining of the bowel. In most cases, it is treated by surgery which is often associated with several postoperative complications such as fistula, urinary tract infection, postoperative bleeding, surgical site infection, bowel ileus or obstruction, pneumonia, and anastomotic leakage (Pallan et al., 2021). In addition to this, such complications can deteriorate an individual’s mental and physical capacity; hence, registered nurses are required to offer person-centred care during this period. Besides, it is possible that bowel cancer might reoccur in the same site or another location in a human’s body. Since the perioperative journey can be difficult, healthcare professionals must increase the availability and provision of psychological, educational, and training resources to meet the complex perioperative coping styles and needs of a patient who has colorectal bowel cancer. Nurgali & Wildbore (2019) stated that it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to provide education and support to patients to make sure that they would engage in self-care behaviours and be confident once they are discharged. For instance, colorectal bowel cancer patients should be provided with important information on modifiable risks such as regular exercise, quitting smoking and drinking, and eating a healthy diet (Nurgali & Wildbore, 2019). In saying this, it is also vital to provide person-centred care by teaching and educating patients and their families or caregivers on how to manage post-surgery symptoms, how to correctly treat and manage the surgery wound, and when to seek immediate medical attention when symptoms persist, or they need some extra assistance. Besides psychological and physical perioperative strategies, regular mental health examinations are vital for detecting comorbidities. As a result, providing this information to caregivers is essential as they would use it to understand how to provide care to a patient and ensure optimal recovery. References Bowel cancer. Cancer Council NSW. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/bowel-cancer/. Healthdirect. (2020). Bowel cancer (colon and rectal cancer). https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bowel-cancer Nurgali, K., & Wildbore, C. (2019). Alterations of digestive function across the lifespan. In J. Craft, & C. Gordon (Eds.), Understanding pathophysiology (3rd Australian and New Zealand ed., pp. 798-856). Elsevier Australia. Colorectal cancer. Medlineplus.gov. (2022). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000262.htm. Pallan, A., Dedelaite, M., Mirajkar, N., Newman, P. A., Plowright, J., & Ashraf, S. (2021). Postoperative complications of colorectal cancer. Clinical Radiology, 76(12), 896-970.

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