© 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.
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.
Many people with cancer face uncertainty. If you or someone you love has cancer or has had cancer, you may feel that your life is less secure or predictable than it once was or that you don’t know what the future holds. It is important to ask for support when you are feeling this way; there are many professionals available who can help.
When you visit a health care provider, important medical information—such as laboratory and imaging test results, prescriptions, and recommended treatments—becomes part of your medical record. Some medical records may be kept in paper form. However, an increasing number of health care providers are using electronic medical records (EMRs).
Most people visit their neighborhood retail pharmacy to fill prescriptions for medications. However, some people with cancer may be referred to what are known as specialty pharmacies to receive medications.
Many women with cancer have surgery that affects their reproductive organs. Because of the connection of this area of the body to sexuality, many women experience feelings such as loss, sadness, or anxiety after gynecologic surgery. Some women may feel that they have lost their identity as women. Others may have concerns and questions regarding sexual intimacy and intercourse after surgery. It is important to remember that there are a number of strategies for coping with both the sexual and emotional side effects of gynecologic surgery.
Cancer and cancer treatments may change your appearance and how you feel about yourself. One resource, the Look Good…Feel Better program, can help you restore your appearance to boost how you feel about yourself.
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.
We’ve all heard of post-traumatic stress, which is generally used to describe feelings of anxiety and fear following a frightening or life-threatening experience, such as receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment. However, such experiences can also cause a positive life change or a period of improvement. In fact, some studies suggest that reports of growth following a traumatic event are more common than reports of psychiatric disorders taking place from the experience.
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.
Medical news can change often; one week, a new "breakthrough" is discovered, only to be disputed the next week. As a result, it is difficult to know what news to believe and whether a person should change a practice or specific habit. Finding answers to the following questions may help you better evaluate medical news.