June is National Cancer Survivors month, and the American Cancer Society Marco Island Unit would like to recognize all the cancer survivors who have stayed strong through their cancer journey. We recognize that it is a long and difficult road to recovery. The American Cancer Society believes that whether you’re still in treatment or have long since finished, you are a survivor.
It is common for cancer patients to have a difficult time transitioning to post treatment care, experiencing anxiety, and physical and psycho-social challenges. A study was conducted by gerontologist, Corinne Leach, PhD, to see who is the least and most prepared after treatment and why. The study is still ongoing, but thus far it shows that patients who feel the least prepared are having the most difficult time managing their physical cancer-related symptoms. Additionally, these patients feel they have had limited discussions with their healthcare providers about potential side effects from cancer and cancer treatments. Among other reasons for feeling unprepared were limited social support, and patients who were generally younger.
After treatment, it is vital for survivors to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Eating right and staying active can improve both your physical wellbeing and your state of happiness. It is vitalto have detailed conversations with your doctors, and get a plan together of what you should be doing post treatment to help you recover. Your doctors will discuss what is the right post treatment plan for you, and what important tests you should be taking to monitor your health in the future. Long-term follow-up visits and tests will likely continue for many more years.
This information is courtesy of cancer.org, where you may find additional information on life after treatment. For all cancer related questions, you may also call our 24/7 Patient Services phone line at 1-800-227-2345, where a specialist will be able to help you with your needs.
This is an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Marco Island community about the American Cancer Society, the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health concern by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The Marco Island American Cancer Society office is located at 583 Tallwood St., Suite 101 and is open daily from 9 AM-5 PM. For more information about volunteering or any of the events mentioned in this column please contact Sue Olszak or Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3890.