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Living With Cancer

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Living With Cancer

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Living with cancer requires emotional, physical, and financial strength. This article will help you to understand certain ways of coping up with cancer and improving life.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah

Published At June 21, 2021
Reviewed AtNovember 29, 2022

Introduction:

Cancer is a clinical condition characterized by the abnormal growth of cells of the body. It is a nightmare to get diagnosed with cancer, and it takes a toll on the patient as well as the family members after the news. The treatment depends on the type of cancer, staging, patient factors, etc. The process of treatment is also disturbing. There are a lot of brave hearts that overcome this disease. Living with cancer itself is a big deal. Chronic cancer is a type of cancer that cannot be treated, but the treatment is extended for several months or years to improve the quality of life of the patients. There are so many factors that can affect living with cancer which will be discussed in this article.

Why Is Extended Treatment Required?

Extended treatment is given after the initial diagnosis and provision of primary treatment. It is done for the following reasons:

1. To control the cancer-like cases of chronic leukemia, breast cancer, etc.

2. To manage the severe stage of advanced cancer. This is more focused on cases with metastatic cancer.

3. To prevent the recurrence of cancer.

Can Chronic Cancer Be Treated?

Although chronic cancer cannot be cured completely, the treatment can help in improving the lives of the patient. It can include the provision of chemotherapy, which can be a single drug or combination of drugs. Also, your specialist or physician may use certain other therapies like immunotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, etc.

Certain factors can affect the type of treatment you obtain. Following are the factors:

  • The type of cancer.

  • The quantity of cancer.

  • Location of cancer or the affected site or sites.

  • Age of the patient.

  • Treatment options available for that specific type of cancer.

  • Overall general health of the patient.

  • Previous treatments underwent by the patient.

  • Metastasis or spread of cancer.

  • Personal preferences of the patient.

Based on these factors, the extended treatment is decided in the patient.

How Long Can This Chronic Cancer Extend?

There is no specific guaranteed time for cancer or treatment. All this depends on the following factors:

  • The type of cancer the patient is suffering from.

  • Prognosis or outcome of the treatment.

  • Physical and emotional condition of the patient while receiving the treatment.

  • The type of treatment planned and provided.

  • Age of the patient.

  • Stage of cancer: Based on its spread and aggressiveness.

  • The overall health of the patient.

How Can You Cope With Cancer?

Following will help you to manage as well improve your quality of life while living with cancer. The first thing you should remember before anything is you have to be positive. Positive vibes can create miracles.

  1. Try Developing a Survivorship Care Plan With Your Specialist - This includes your future check-ups, tests for cancer, any side effects of the treatment that you will be provided, and suggestions for improving your routine life.

  2. You can talk to your doctor or healthcare team about any side effects that the treatment or cancer may cause and how you can manage or overcome it.

  3. It is important to understand the benefits and side effects of the medication that you are taking. Hence, ask your specialist or physician about it.

  4. You should have regular follow-ups and also all follow-up medical tests.

  5. Rehabilitation is something you should think about. It can include various things like pain management, diet planning, emotional support, physical therapies, etc.

  6. It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle.

  7. Prevent Recurrence by the Following:

Although there is no assured permanent cure for cancer, the recurrence can be minimized. There are so many things that are in your hand. If the external factor had caused cancer-like tobacco or smoking, you could stop consuming it. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy food, control your weight. Be physically fit by doing regular exercise.

Losing weight adds benefits to your quality of life. Being overweight is known to be associated with breast, kidney, pancreas, esophagus, colorectal cancer, etc. The association is seen both during the first-time diagnosis and during recurrence. You should stop or at least minimize consuming high fat-containing foods, have control over the portion, and consume more fruits and vegetables.

The most commonly preferred diet is the Mediterranean-style diet. This includes nuts, poultry, whole grains, fish, etc., and red meat is limited in this. Also, you can consume healthy fats like olive oil.

Apart from the food, it is very important to do exercise regularly to reduce weight. Regular physical activity helps in decreasing the risk of getting colon, breast, or endometrial cancer. It is also helpful in preventing recurrence.

  1. You can talk to your cancer management team or oncologist regarding options for financial support and resources.

  2. Manage stress and anxiety.

Cancer term itself gives too much stress and anxiety. It is important to cope up with it as it can affect the prognosis and recurrence. You can follow a convenient way to spell out your stress and anxiety. You can do yoga, meditation, write whatever comes to your mind. Apart from these, you can meet up or talk with people who are going through the same situation as you. There are so many social groups that have many cancer surviving patients who meet up regularly and share their life experiences and how they are coping up with the stress.

Conclusion:

Chronic cancer or any cancer can lead to an emotional and physical breakdown. Surviving from cancer is not easy, but you can always extend your hand for help from trained specialists to lead a better life. Online medical platforms make this consultation process very easy. Hence ask an expert to know more about living with cancer online.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Is It Possible to Live a Normal Life With Cancer?

Yes, it is possible to live a normal life with cancer if it is detected early and treated appropriately. Reports show that people with cancer have lived for considerably longer time than expected. Life expectancy is increased when cancer is controlled, and remission is evident.

2.

How to Learn to Live With Cancer?

People with cancer must talk about their feelings to their family members and healthcare providers. They should stay active, have a balanced diet, and should follow a healthy lifestyle.
They should treat themselves to things that make them happy such as a hot bath or a relaxing nap. Getting help for routine jobs such as cooking, cleaning, and other household activities would make them feel stress-free.

3.

What Are the Feelings Commonly Seen in People Living With Cancer?

The common feelings encountered by people with cancer are loneliness, sadness, and depression. They feel lonely and often distant from other people. Persistently having the sense of not feeling healthy makes them sad. Emotional support from family, peer group, and friends helps to regain their emotional balance.

4.

How To Stay Positive While Living With Cancer?

People with cancer should stay positive and healthy. They should not think more about their cancer status or be confined to talking only about health-related issues. Focusing on things that could be controlled gives them positive energy. Appreciating their loved ones, developing a favorable support system, and nurturing a never-give-up attitude helps people with cancer to stay positive.

5.

What Is the Average Age of Mortality From Cancer?

The average age for mortality due to cancer increases with age. The age-specific mortality rates gradually increase from the age group of 45 to 49 years and more steadily around the age group of 70 to 74 years. The highest mortality rates occur in people who are 90 years of age and above.

6.

What Cancers Are Least Treatable?

Certain types of cancers are very challenging to treat and do not respond well to therapeutic interventions. The five-year survival estimate is markedly lower in cancers such as pancreatic cancer (7.3 %), mesothelioma (7.2 %), and brain cancers (12.8 %). 

7.

Does Cancer Ever Gets Cured After Being Treated?

After completing cancer treatment, most cancer survivors feel normal and brace for a new normal lifestyle. Clinical evidence shows that cancer is curable if complete remission for five years and above is seen. Usually, the recurrence of cancer occurs within the first five years following the treatment.  

8.

Why Is It So Difficult to Survive Cancer?

Cancer cells are not alien cells; they are our own body cells that grow in an abnormal manner. This complexity makes it difficult for our immune system to identify cancer cells and differentiate them from normal cells. Presently over 200 types of cancers have been detected, and each of them shows diverse patterns of progression. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms of cancer growth.

9.

Can Spreading of Cancer Be Felt?

Unexplained pain is the first symptom which indicates cancer is spreading. Headaches, dizziness, seizures, and gastric disturbances are some of the signs that show the spread of illness. Frequent fractures, jaundice, and breathing difficulty indicate organ involvement. 

10.

What Types of Cancers Are More Likely to Spread Fast?

Cancers spread through metastasis (spreading through lymph nodes). Some of the fast-growing cancers are blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and thyroid cancer also show rapid metastasis.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah
Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah

Medical oncology

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