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.
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.
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.
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.
Donated umbilical cord blood can be used to treat people with life-threatening diseases including leukemia, other types of cancer, and immune and genetic disorders. Learn about the importance of umbilical cord blood, public versus private use, and how to become an umbilical cord blood donor.
Each year, thousands of people with life-threatening diseases affecting bone marrow function, such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, aplastic anemia, and genetic and immune system disorders, are in need of a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplantation. In many cases, the bone marrow transplant represents a patient's only chance at survival and may even offer a cure. Learn how to register as a bone marrow donor.
Wish fulfillment organizations offer children and adults with a chronic or advanced condition, such as cancer, the chance to take a break from the challenging experience by allowing them to have their wishes and dreams come true. Such dreams—big or small—may include taking a family vacation, attending an event, purchasing a desired item, or meeting someone special. Whatever the wish, wish fulfillment organizations aim to help people with advanced illness enrich the quality of their lives and create meaningful memories.
An illness such as cancer can be one of the most stressful events a person experiences. The stress of cancer and its treatment may be increased by other cancer-related stresses such as family, work, and financial concerns, as well as everyday stress that was present before the cancer diagnosis.