Support from others can help you manage the physical, emotional, and practical challenges of cancer and cancer treatment.
Cancer is an all-too-common disease, and it’s important for you to realize that you’re not alone as you go through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In addition to turning to healthcare professionals, friends, and family for support, you may also find it helpful to talk with other people with cancer and survivors. Cancer support groups can help people share advice and experience and cope with the many feelings that accompany cancer. Groups may meet in person or online. Your doctor, nurse, or social worker may be able to help you find a group that’s right for you. Join CancerConnect and meet other patients and caregivers seeking information, inspiration, and support in the wake of a cancer diagnosis
Often, oncology nurses work closely with the medical oncologist to triage your care and administer chemotherapy or other drugs you require for treatment. These medical professionals can be a great source of information and are comfortable speaking with patients about both physical and emotional issues. You can ask your nurse questions regarding the best way to manage side effects, and you should also let your nurse know about any concerns or wishes you have regarding your treatment. Most likely, if you are receiving any type of drug therapy, you will interact more with the oncology nurses than with your medical oncologist, so take advantage of the time that you have with your nurse. Oncology nurses will provide education and counseling to you and your family members as you journey through cancer treatment. Part of their role is to let your medical oncologist know about any problems you may be experiencing that need attention. For this reason, communicating openly and honestly with your oncology nurse is very important.
Regardless of if your surgery requires you to stay in the hospital for a while or if you have outpatient surgery and go home the same day, your nurse will report your condition to your surgeon. So be sure to tell your nurse about any side effects you are experiencing, ask questions about pain management, and describe any other concerns you may have.
Friends and family members can play a very important role in your care. Depending on the circumstances, friends and family members may be able to assist you with day-to-day activities such as doctor visits and meal preparation and may also provide important emotional and spiritual support. Don’t be afraid to accept help when it is offered and to ask for help when you need it.
The primary caregiver is the friend or family member who works most closely with you as you go through your illness. Your primary caregiver can act as your advocate during treatment and help keep track of care instructions and medication schedules. Your primary caregiver may be able to assist with some types of physical care and may also help manage insurance and financial issues.
You should always bring your primary caregiver with you to your appointments with your medical team because your primary caregiver can help you to remember important instructions. Often, cancer patients report feeling overwhelmed with all of the new information they receive. Your primary caregiver is an extremely important member of your team and can help you to make decisions critical to your treatments.
Cancer is an all-too-common disease, and it’s important for you to realize that you’re not alone as you go through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In addition to turning to healthcare professionals, friends, and family for support, you may also find it helpful to talk with other people with cancer and survivors. Cancer support groups can help people share advice and experience and cope with the many feelings that accompany cancer. Groups may meet in person or online. Your doctor, nurse, or social worker may be able to help you find a group that’s right for you. Your cancer center’s website may also list local community support groups that are available.
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The information contained above is general in nature and is not intended as a guide to self-medication by consumers or meant to substitute for advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The reader is advised to consult with a physician or other medical professional and to check product information (including packaging inserts) for changes and new information regarding dosage, precautions, and contra indication before administering any drug, herb, supplement, compound, therapy or treatment discussed herein. Neither the editors nor the publisher accepts any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or consequences from the use or misuse of the information contained herein.
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