Cancer is a frightening problem, but you don't have to figure it out alone. There are many people you could potentially enlist to help you in your fight against the disease. In addition, there are some professionals who, although you might not realize it, are already dedicating their lives to help beat your condition. Doctors and loved ones are obvious allies, but what about researchers, dieticians, or family members? Here's how nearly everyone you know, and some you have yet to meet, could contribute significantly to your fight.
There are many different types of oncologists, and each medical specialization deals with a unique type of cancer or patient. For example, pediatric cancer doctors handle the effects of the disease on children. These clinicians are specially trained to keep kids in a positive state of mind and determine treatments that could lead to a long life after recovery. A radiation oncologist, on the other hand, uses targeted therapies while administering drugs to protect unaffected tissue.
Apart from your lead doctors, there would likely be many nurses and support staff working with you. Nearly anyone who works in a cancer treatment facility these days has special education and qualifications. While the role of the nursing staff is usually to carry out procedures and record information, they're also a great source of guidance. If you have questions about your recovery process or need something explained, then ask your nurse.
Family and Friends
The world is changing. More and more people are beating cancer. These days, sharing your struggle with certain individuals could have positive effects on your mental health and deepen your relationships. There are plenty of high-profile celebrities who are open about their cancer fight, and probably many more who have told only their most trusted acquaintances. If you prefer anonymity, you could seek out a support group or a therapist. Regardless of what you choose to do, having someone to talk to other than your healthcare provider will probably help you develop a feeling of support.
Finding a Cure
From the early, legendary figures associated with cancer research, such as Marie Curie and George Papanicolaou, to modern genetic research, such as that performed by Harry Stylli or the NCI, there are plenty of individuals and groups who have made a difference in your cancer fight. The work these people have done — and are doing right now — is significant on a grand scale. People are fighting cancer more successfully due to the efforts of researchers. You might not be able to understand recent research as an individual patient, so ask your medical provider to explain items that seem promising.
Cancer Prevention and Control
More and more doctors these days are advocating an entire-lifestyle approach to combating cancer. Sometimes, this involves changing activity levels and diets. You may be surprised at the strong links some studies have found between common food ingredients and lower risks of cancer. Garlic, for example, has been linked to lower incidence of many different types of the disease.
The medical consensus is that higher physical activity and lower body weight are also positive preventative factors. You might get some unexpected physical therapy as part of your cancer treatment regimen, ending up healthier as you fight the disease.
Bringing People Together
Disease may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to deepening relationships and forging social bonds. However, cancer is different than most diseases. As scientists learn about it, the general public is beginning to understand that cancer patients need support. If you can build your own personal network of medical providers and concerned friends, then you are one step closer to a healthier life.