Colorectal Cancer: Resources for Young Patients and Survivors

Young colorectal cancer patients face a unique set of challenges. We have compiled resources that our younger patients and their family members can refer to and bring up when speaking to your cancer care team.

You can also refer to our Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment resources page for additional information. 

Cancer and Finances

Least to say, cancer is expensive, it is important to be organized and to not let bills pile up. Ask for help. Your hospital’s cancer social worker or patient navigator can work with you and your family to identify resources. Meanwhile, here are some financial aid websites that to get you started:

If you are a student, finances are likely already strained. Here are some scholarship programs you can apply to that assist young adults facing a cancer diagnosis:

Lifestyle Adaptations

Colorectal cancer has unique lifestyle challenges compared with other cancers. The ostomy bag is a large part of that. You may need an ostomy bag if you underwent surgery, also known as a colostomy. For additional information and useful tools, visit this website. Here’s a link to find support groups near you.

Impact on Fertility

For many young cancer patients, fertility is not something that you think about. However, it is important to talk with your doctor and find out whether your cancer treatment plan will affect your fertility and your ability to start a family in the future. Males and females may experience different issues as a result of their treatment and have different fertility preservation options. Consider speaking to a fertility specialist to understand your options. 

It is also important to find out if your insurance plan covers fertility preservation procedures.   Financial help for fertility treatments can be found here. The Oncofertility Consortium as Michigan State University has put together incredible resources for fertility.

Impact on Career

Long hours of chemo/infusion therapy, radiation therapy, and/or the need for surgery can affect your work life and your career plans. Cancer+Careers provides coaching to get back into the workforce, explains your legal rights, and more.

Survivorship

Being diagnosed with cancer at a young age means you have a long survivorship period during which you may continue to face health issues consequent to your cancer treatment. Adjusting to life after cancer can be difficult. It is important to discuss anxieties with your family and your cancer care team. Additionally: