Fighting With Cancer

A cancer diagnosis might seem like your world is crashing down around you, but there are ways that you can cope. It’s important to have the support of family and friends so that you have someone to talk to and rely on for encouragement. These are people who can lift you up when you feel weak and who can be there to help you with physical tasks that you might not feel like doing during the day.

14937098_923550121109563_807401709_nMy husband with my father-in-law who died of prostate cancer last August.

Another way to cope with a cancer diagnosis is to read uplifting books for cancer patients. You can find books online for free, or you can often get books from your doctor’s office as the staff understands that you need positive reading material to get you through this time. Get as much information as you can about the diagnosis. Find out the treatment options as well as the prognosis if one is available after testing has been done. Talk to the doctor about side effects that you might experience with treatment options. Find out what the cancer can do to your body. If you are educated, then you’ll likely be able to face the cancer in a better way instead of being in the dark about the disease.

Join a support group of those who have had cancer or who are dealing with the disease right now. There are several groups that are held at churches, community centers and even at doctor’s offices. You can participate in special events for those who have cancer so that you feel like you’re making a difference in helping to treat your disease and save the lives of others at the same time. Members of support groups can give you ideas on how they deal with their cancer and give you ideas on what you can do to get through your days so that you feel encouraged.

Stay as organized as possible. Get a binder to keep your appointments recorded as well as a journal of the events that take place with your cancer journey. Keep a list of all of your doctors and any new doctors who you might have to visit in the future.

Lifestyle and Cancer

Cancer is the 3rd leading cause of mortality and morbidity. However, 2/3 of all cancers are attributed to lifestyle and can be prevented. Some preventive measures are…

  • No to smoking – smoking causes cancer of the lungs, the most common cancer.
  • Eat Healthily – eat high fiber foods like fruits, green leafy vegetables, wheat bread and whole grain cereals.
    – avoid nitrate-cured, salt-cured, smoked and pickled foods.
  • Take care under the sun – over exposure to sun can cause skin cancer.
  • Practice safe sex – infection of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes nearly all causes of cervical cancer.
  • Go for screening – screening can pick up changes on cancer early and maximizes the chances of successful treatment.
  • Keep ideal body weight – obesity is a major risk factor for cancer of the uterus.
  • Drink alcohol moderately – too much alcohol overtime increases risk of cancer of the liver,mouth, throat and breast most especially if done with smoking.
  • Know early signs of cancer
    1. Changes in bladder or bowel habits.
    2. A sore that does not heal.
    3. Unusual bleeding or discharge.
    4. Thickening of lumps in breast or elsewhere.
    5. Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
    6. Obvious change in wart and mole.
    7. Nagging cough or hoarseness.
    8. Sudden weight loss.

    Lifestyle and cancer is interrelated. It’s not too late to change your lifestyle now.

    *Source: Philippines Society of Oncologists