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Coping With Cancer Overview

Coping with the Diagnosis of Cancer

Learn as much as possible about your disease. Arm yourself with information in order to lessen frustration. Don't hesitate to ask questions about your disease. Consider keeping a notebook with all of the medical records and information about your diagnosis.

Coping with Terminal Cancer

Sometimes, cancer cannot be cured. When that is the case, patients and families are faced with complex emotions and a variety of end of life issues.

Cancer Survivor Tips

Learning how to take care of your physical and mental health after a cancer diagnosis is the key to living your life to the fullest.

Does Ageism Exist in Cancer Care?

Older adults are less likely to be screened for cancer in the first place. And if they are diagnosed with cancer, it's less likely that their doctors will recommend treatment to cure the cancer.

Palliative Care: Bringing Comfort

Palliative care focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life by improving the symptoms of his or her illness, such as pain, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. It's used with a variety of ailments, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, or congestive heart failure.

Palliative Care Methods for Controlling Pain

The biggest problem with palliative care is that many people are referred for care too late. By starting this type of care early, and by using the right type of pain management, nearly all pain problems can be relieved or reduced.

Patient-Controlled Analgesia Pumps

Patient-controlled analgesia is a method of pain management that allows you to decide when you will get a dose of pain medication. You don’t need to wait for a nurse, and you can get smaller doses of pain medicine more frequently.

Take a ‘Vacation’ from Cancer

Many people with cancer benefit from taking a respite from their condition from time to time. This “vacation” from cancer can come in many forms.

Living with an Ostomy

When your body is unable to remove waste effectively, whether because of a disease or a medical procedure, you may need an ostomy. An ostomy is an opening that is created surgically somewhere on the body to help in the discharge of stool or urine.

Managing Emotions and Stress

The Experience of Grief

Grieving is a normal response to a loss. The loss can include the loss of your normal daily routine, the impact of the diagnosis on other family members, and the financial impact of the diagnosis.

Family Support

For Kids: When Someone You Love Has Cancer

If someone you love has cancer, you probably feel sad, angry, and confused. It's OK to feel this way. Cancer is a serious disease. Your loved one is sick. He or she will need to see the doctor a lot. It can help to learn more about cancer.

For Teens: What to Expect If Your Loved One Has Cancer

If you are curious about your loved one's treatment, you may want to ask if you can go with them to a clinic visit or any of the other appointments they may have. Your loved one may not want you to come, or he or she may be happy that you're interested.

Records and Documents

Symptom Record Log

Use this chart daily to record the symptoms that you are experiencing. Rate the symptoms according to severity, using a scale of 1 to 4.

Patient Rights

If you are unhappy with the home health or hospice care you are receiving, you should notify the provider's administrator, your state health department, and the Better Business Bureau.

Sexual Concerns

Sexuality Issues for Women Being Treated for Cancer

Treatment for cancer can cause many changes that may affect your sexuality. It can also change the physical or emotional closeness you share with another person. Different treatments can cause different physical and psychological changes that can affect how you feel, look, and function. These changes may be temporary, or they may last a long time.

Sexual Relationships and Testicular Cancer

Whether the changes you experience are short-term or long lasting, you can find ways to feel good about yourself and to be intimate with your partner. Remember to be patient and give yourself time. Be creative.

Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is when a man is not able to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs. It's often a side effect of the treatments for prostate cancer. Some men have chronic, complete erectile dysfunction, called impotence. Others have partial or brief erections.

Getting Help for Impotence

Nearly all American men experience occasional impotence, and an estimated 30 million suffer from chronic impotence. But despite its prevalence, the condition is treatable in most cases.

Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction

For most men, erectile dysfunction is caused by physical problems, usually related to the blood supply of the penis. Many advances have occurred in both diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Spiritual Needs

Lifestyle Choices for Cancer Survivors

Life as a cancer survivor can be as rich and rewarding as you decide to make it. In fact, increased awareness of mortality is all some people need to feel more alive than ever.

Coping with Cancer Through Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions

You can find many ways to cope with stress. The goal of each approach, whether it be coping skills or relaxation techniques, is to bring you from a place of tension to a place of serenity - mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Palliative Care: Bringing Comfort

Palliative care focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life by improving the symptoms of his or her illness, such as pain, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. It's used with a variety of ailments, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, or congestive heart failure.

Cancer and Spirituality

People with cancer often tap into their spiritual side when battling the illness. This might include prayer, attending religious services, reading passages from a holy book, or simply expressing gratitude and love.

Work and Finances

First My Illness...Now Job Discrimination

The two major laws that exist to ensure that anyone with a disability or anyone dealing with a health crisis is not discriminated against are the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Insurance Rights of Cancer Survivors

You have rights under federal and state laws to help you buy and keep coverage. But these rights are not comprehensive, and they may vary depending on where you live, what kind of coverage you have or seek, and other factors.

Understanding the Provisions of Your Managed Care Plan

Managed care, by definition, is a comprehensive method of managing and coordinating medical care you receive. The goal of case management is to coordinate and facilitate access to medical care, while adhering to the guidelines and provisions of your health benefit plan.

Your Employment Rights as a Cancer Survivor

Although most employers treat cancer survivors fairly and legally, some employers—either through outdated personnel policies or an uninformed or misguided supervisor—erect unnecessary and sometimes illegal barriers to survivors' job opportunities.

Work and Cancer: How to Cope

Cancer survivors know how important a job can be to their psychological and financial well being. Here are tips to improve the ability to continue working, as well as some ways to handle workplace discrimination during treatment.

Paying for Home Health and Hospice Care

Home health care services may be paid for directly by the patient, through insurance coverage, or through other public or private sources. Most hospice care programs are provided to the patient regardless of the patient's ability to pay.

Survivor Stories

Care for Caregiver

End of Life Care

Grief and Loss

The Experience of Grief

Grieving is a normal response to a loss. The loss can include the loss of your normal daily routine, the impact of the diagnosis on other family members, and the financial impact of the diagnosis.

Grief and Loss

Grief moves in and out of stages from disbelief and denial, to anger and guilt, to finding a source of comfort, to eventually adjusting to the loss.

Providing Support for the Bereaved

Be available. Sometimes, people who are grieving do not want to talk or listen, nor do they want you to talk or listen. They simply want you to be there for them.
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