Once again you will find in these pages a wealth of valuable information for you and your family as you continue your journey with cancer treatment or with long-term survivorship. You probably received this issue of CONQUER from your oncology navigator. Here is a rundown of what is in this issue:
Patient stories: How people approach the news of their cancer diagnosis influences their physical and emotional well-being during and after treatment. Read about one woman’s experience; she wrote: “I have learned that when something tragic happens to you, you have a choice. You can let it define you and let it take over, or you can let it transform you into the person you want to be.”
Cancer is scary; however, some of the uncertainty and scariness can be relieved by empowering yourself with accurate information about the diagnosis and its treatment. In doing so, you will be able to more actively and confidently participate in the decision-making about your care. Read a patient’s story about how she got in charge of her life again after her diagnosis.
One of the positive outcomes from the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can be a new calling to do something in the world of cancer, by becoming a patient advocate. When we help others who follow behind us, we also help ourselves. Learn how one patient took this experience and became an advocate.
Breast cancer 101: This is breast cancer awareness month, so it is the right time to provide educational information about breast cancer. Read through and consider sharing it with other women you know. Information is power!
Personalized medicine: This is a relatively new term, so plan to hear more about it very soon. Dr. Maclean provides information to jump-start your education about personalized medicine. It is exciting to see that we are making scientific breakthroughs in this area.
Financial issues: When patients and their families need to travel for their cancer care, bills unrelated to copayments and deductibles can hit the family’s budget hard. Read about financial resources you may want to access so your wallet isn’t emptied by travel and lodging expenses.
Workplace issues: Many people diagnosed with cancer are working outside their homes. Learn how to manage work expectations and accessing employee benefits and federal employee protection laws so patients receive guidance on how to communicate the news to others in the workplace, and continue to work during treatment, which can help maintain normalcy.
Hair loss: A significant side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. When anyone sees someone bald or wearing a turban, the automatic thought is, “This must be a patient with cancer.” One potential solution currently available for patients is a scalp-cooling system. Read more about it, particularly if you are anticipating chemotherapy that may cause hair loss. Discuss this with your oncologist, keeping in mind the device has not been tested with all chemotherapy drugs.
Lung cancer: Read the latest cutting-edge information about new treatments for lung cancer that was recently announced at the 2017 ESMO conference.
Finally, read a wonderful poem by a patient who had a bone marrow transplant. I won’t tell you more so I don’t spoil it for you.
So once again, you have a lot of information to read and digest! Enjoy reading, and enjoy the amazing autumn weather.