© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Quality of Life
Find practical information on how to manage common challenges faced by people living with cancer.
Eating well is important for people living with cancer. It can improve your overall health and well-being and help you have more energy and feel less fatigued. However, deciding what to eat, shopping for groceries, and preparing your food often takes a lot of time and energy. Here are some basic steps that can make meal planning and grocery shopping a little easier.
Being a self-advocate involves taking an active role in your cancer care. It can be a positive experience, often giving a sense of control in a time of uncertainty. Self-advocacy doesn't have to be time-consuming or difficult; it can be as simple as asking more questions at a doctor's appointment. Furthermore, being a self-advocate doesn't mean that you alone are responsible for your cancer care. In fact, it commonly involves seeking additional support from others, including friends, family members, and health care professionals.
For many people with cancer, coping with their emotions can be just as difficult as managing their health. However, keeping a journal is an easy way to express your feelings and document your journey.
Food safety is important for people who are receiving or recovering from cancer treatment. Cancer and cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and bone marrow/stem cell transplants, can weaken the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infection.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can trigger a number of difficult feelings, such as sadness, fear, or anger. While these feelings are completely normal, it is important to find a way to deal with them. One way to cope with these feelings is to use humor, which may help you keep a positive outlook on life, give you a renewed sense of control, and boost your body’s healing process.
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.
For people diagnosed with cancer, an oncology social worker is an important member of the health care team. An oncology social worker provides counseling, education, and information services, and referrals to community resources to people with cancer and their families and friends.
Summertime brings sun, heat, and outdoor activities, but it can also present challenging health and lifestyle issues for people living with cancer. This article provides important information about sun exposure, heat and dehydration, hot flashes, exercise, wigs, and custom-made swimsuits and caps.
Traveling, especially during the holiday season, can sometimes seem overwhelming to a person living with cancer. In addition to the usual holiday travel headaches, there are also important health issues to consider before leaving town.