© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Family, Friends, and Caregivers
Cancer not only affects the person diagnosed, it also affects family members and friends. Learn ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take control of your health and develop a strategy that will help you reach your goals for the coming year. Here are seven tips to help you have a healthier and happier new year.
A person who has been affected by cancer often wants to make a difference in the lives of people with the disease by becoming a cancer advocate. It can be a positive and empowering experience to help others by providing support to those living with cancer, raising public awareness, advancing cancer research, improving the quality of cancer care, and addressing legislative and regulatory issues that affect cancer care and research. Advocating for others also provides a forum to share stories about dealing with the cancer experience.
There are many ways to be a cancer advocate, working to improve the lives of people with cancer.
If you have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, or is living with cancer, you may be wondering the best way to support him or her. Even though you want to help your friend through this difficult time, it can be hard to know what to say or do. While there are no set rules when it comes to supporting a friend who has cancer, this article will help you find ways to show your support, including ideas of what to say and how to provide practical help, as well as suggestions for thoughtful gifts.
People living with cancer often are at a higher risk of infections, such as influenza, or the "flu." This risk is due to cancer and cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which weaken the immune system. The flu is a common, contagious illness that is caused by influenza viruses and affects the respiratory system (the organs involved in breathing).
Many times people who have dealt with cancer firsthand want to support others with cancer. Whether you are a cancer survivor or a family member or friend of someone living with cancer, you have a lot of valuable experience that can help others facing cancer. Becoming a volunteer makes an important difference in someone else's life and often makes a positive difference in your own life. Being a volunteer offers different rewards for everyone. In fact, many volunteers say sharing their time makes them feel good, helps to build new friendships, and widens their network of support.
Counseling is designed to help people respond to challenges and the associated emotions in healthy ways. Counselors cannot always solve problems, but they provide a safe environment for people with cancer to talk about their concerns. Because counselors are removed from the situation, they provide a helpful, outside perspective.
Some veterans of the U.S. armed forces were exposed to substances that were later found to cause cancer. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has identified these substances, such as ionizing radiation and Agent Orange, and has created programs to help veterans receive health care related to the exposure of these substances. This article discusses Agent Orange (used during the Vietnam War), veterans of recent conflicts, and questions to ask the doctor.
Some veterans of the U.S. armed forces may have been exposed to substances, such as ionizing radiation and Agent Orange, that are known to cause cancer. Many veterans who were exposed to these agents several decades ago are now at an age where cancer may develop. In this two-part series, read about the link between some agents and cancer, programs to help veterans, and get a list of questions to ask the doctor.
Learn about organizations that offer “buddy programs” where you can be matched with a survivor of the same type of cancer to get one-on-one support throughout your cancer treatment.
People with cancer have specific medical needs, especially during active treatment and in the time after treatment. These needs may become serious in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, outbreaks of disease (such as the flu or measles), and terrorist attacks. Even if such an event is unlikely where you live, it is important to be prepared. This article will help you and your family plan for emergency situations.