© 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.
The Internet is a useful tool for finding information about cancer and connecting with other patients and caregivers. However, it can be difficult to find credible, reliable information about cancer causes, risk factors, treatment, and recovery. Because Internet content is not regulated, you need to use good judgment when searching online.
Many people with cancer experience occasional sleep difficulties; for some, quality sleep is a nightly challenge. First, discuss any sleep concerns with a health-care provider and address any medical issues that could affect sleep. Then you can review any special recommendations for improving sleep with nonmedical approaches. This article provides specific strategies that can be used easily at home.
For various reasons, people with cancer and their families may decide to travel to receive care. Some—particularly those who reside in rural areas—may have limited access to oncologists and treatment facilities in the local area. Others may elect to travel to consult with a specialist, seek a second opinion on a diagnosis or proposed treatment plan, or undergo a therapy that isn’t widely available, such as radioactive iodine therapy or proton beam therapy.
Many people living with or touched by cancer experience guilt—a feeling of blame and regret that can be difficult to acknowledge and express. Guilt often leads people to replay "what if" and "if only" scenarios in their thoughts, trying to determine what they could have done differently or how they can “right” a wrongdoing.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that a person can develop after experiencing or seeing a life-threatening or extremely frightening event. Although PTSD is often associated with situations such as war, weather-related disasters, sexual or physical attacks, and serious accidents, such as a plane crash, the disorder can also affect people with a history of cancer.
After a cancer diagnosis, many people want to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating better, exercising more, and finding better ways to manage stress. Although practicing healthy habits is important for everyone, it is especially important for cancer survivors because they can be at a higher risk for other health problems as a result of cancer treatment.
For many people with cancer, connecting with others provides emotional support and inspiration during this challenging time.What might help is to join an online community where you can connect with others. Joining an online community also makes it easier to keep friends and family updated on your situation.
About 12 million people in the United States have survived cancer, and each person has a story to share if he or she wishes to do so.