Quality of Life
Find practical information on how to manage common challenges faced by people living with cancer.
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.
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.
After a diagnosis of cancer, patients and their families must make a number of decisions about cancer treatment, some of which are more difficult than others. These decisions are complicated by unfamiliar words, statistics, and a sense of urgency. However, it is important to allow time to research your options and ask questions. Decisions about cancer treatment are personal, and it is important that you feel comfortable about your decisions.
ASCO member Evan J. Lipson, MD, launched a website that offers people with cancer and their families an opportunity to record and preserve audio interviews as a way to share their personal stories with others. Here, Cancer.Net talks with Dr. Lipson to learn more about why he created this website, SeizetheDays.org.
A person with cancer may have more than one option for treating the disease, and it may be difficult to choose among them. In making this choice, patients often ask for the opinions of family members. And, in some cases, family members may disagree with each other and with the patient, creating conflict when they need each other’s support the most. This is particularly complex when the patient is a child or an adult who is medically unable to make decisions. This article provides suggestions on how to keep the lines of communication open and work together to make treatment choices.
Many people mark milestones in their cancer treatment plan and survivorship in a variety of ways. For many people, the one-year and five-year cancer-free milestones are very meaningful. Other milestones and anniversary dates can be marked as well, such as the end of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the date of your cancer diagnosis, the anniversary of surgery to treat your cancer, or after each follow-up visit.