|Other Things to Consider During and After Treatment|
Every patient's reaction to a cancer diagnosis is different. Some patients wish to defer entirely to the cancer care team and become minimally involved in treatment decisions. Others want their family members to be involved in treatment decisions, and still others want to take charge themselves. However, becoming actively involved in one's own cancer treatment may improve cancer care and recovery. For example, if patients are aware of the potential side effects of treatment, they can alert their cancer care team promptly if problems emerge.
Cancer treatment can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically, so it is important to get plenty of sleep at night. Patients can also assist in their own recovery by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and adopting good nutritional habits, that can be beneficial both during and after treatment. Patients often have many family and friends who are eager to help, and they should take advantage of these offers while ensuring that they still have plenty of opportunity during the day for rest and personal time. Patients may have special strengths such as a history of excellent nutrition and physical activity, a strong family support system, or a deep faith, and these strengths can have a positive effect on their response to cancer treatment. If patients, friends, or family members have difficulty coping with the emotional aspects of the illness, there are many experienced professionals in mental health services, social work services, and pastoral services who can assist. Local support groups can be helpful with this as well. Patients should not hesitate to take advantage of every opportunity available to help them recover.
This is an extract from the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®. NCCN Guidelines for Patients® on specific cancers are available to view or print out.
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