You just came home from your doctor’s office and heard the awful news that you have anal cancer. The reality would not sink in at first. You feel confused and full of disbelief. According to Dorina Stern, LMFT, “Shock is a sudden and often intense disturbance of your emotional state that may leave you feeling stunned or dazed.” What happened and what has gone wrong? You start to question yourself and the choices you made leading to this day. Although cancer is very common in our society, it’s something we do not wish for ourselves – not even to our worst enemies. So after the diagnosis, what does a patient with anal cancer expect?
Referral to a Specialist
The doctor will refer you to a specialist called an oncologist. An oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment and management of cancer. The next thing that you can expect is a series of diagnostic tests to determine the stage of cancer you have. Then the oncologist will offer treatment options that will work for your condition such as chemotherapy or the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, surgery or the removal of tissues or organs believed to be afflicted with cancer cells, and the use of radioactive materials to eradicate the cells and prevent from proliferating neighboring tissues and organs. The medical provider can either use a single course of therapy or a combination of these treatments. The specialist will also explain the expectations, outcomes, and prognosis along with this.
The Treatment Process
Once you’ve already chosen the treatment option that will work for you, the series of tests along with the management and treatment regimen will continue. This is to make sure that it is working and you are responding well. Medical evaluation and succeeding medical follow-ups will also determine if the treatments are not working, or if the cancer has already progressed. Depending on the results, the dosage of the chemotherapy medications can be adjusted or surgical procedures can be repeated until the patient is relieved and can function optimally at the present condition. That is why the support system that surrounds you during this times is very important. According to Bobbi Jankovich, LMFT, “Most of us have developed a community — our own personal support system. These are people — family and friends — who care about us, and listen, and help us through difficult times.”
Side effects and adverse complications from treatments are expected. Your doctor will inform you of all this prior to the start of treatment. However, experiencing the real thing can be surreal.
Chemotherapy medications may cause loss of appetite leading to excessive weight loss or also known as body wasting. A severe form of nausea and vomiting can happen after chemotherapy sessions. Most patients also suffer from hair loss. Once this sets in, problems like body image disturbance can lead to low self-esteem and other psychological problems. According to John Preston, PsyD, “Self-esteem, to put it simply, is a measure of how we feel about ourselves, our sense of our own value as human beings and our understanding of what we bring to the world.”
Management of Side Effects
There are several strategies to manage and curtail the side effects of the treatment procedures. The following are some helpful tips:
- You can have ice chips during the chemo sessions to prevent nausea. The doctor usually administers medications that will help control the symptom prior and after chemotherapy sessions.
- Don’t eat much prior to a procedure. You can eat toast or crackers early in the morning.
- If you are feeling well, make sure that you eat with gusto. Coordinate with your nutritionist or dietician on what foods are allowed or prohibited while you are in therapy.
- In order to address hair loss, you may use wigs, scarfs, or hats that will improve your self-worth. The good news is these are an all-year fashion thing and will never go out of style.
Get Diagnosed Early And Don’t Lose Hope
There are many instances that the cancer is treated properly especially if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. However, it is crucial that relapse must be prevented. Therefore, continual monitoring must still be conducted. Coordinate with your specialist as to how often you need to be checked and tested.
If you have been recently diagnosed with anal cancer or any type of cancer, it would be best to consult your physician and see a specialist right away. It is also recommended that you see a therapist and discuss the expected cost for treatment. BetterHelp (an affordable therapy option) has a good article on how you can assess the management of your condition. Early detection and prompt treatment is the key to early recovery and effective cure.
Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer and Anal Cancer are types of cancer that are often interchanged. But medical experts are very particular in its definition and these three are not the same at all. Colon Cancer is different from Rectal Cancer and Anal Cancer. To be sure of what these cancers are really all about, this article will define each and briefly provide some facts as well as the importance of support, both personal & professional with online therapy.
A valuable old saying reminds us that “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. True enough, we only learn its value when we are already sick, agonizing in pain and full of resentment reaping the consequences of the abuse we made to our body and physical health. One of the most common types of cancer is colon cancer which includes rectal cancer. Like any other diseases, there are various ways that we can practice to prevent the development of cancer and for this article, we will focus on the prevention of a specific type which is Rectal Cancer.
Anal cancer develops in the anus. Anal cancer is not to be mistaken for colorectal cancer which is much more common. The anus is the end part of the large intestines which is usually about four centimeters long. This is where the solid wastes come out from the body. Anal cancer is very rare, and it occurs mostly to women than men. Abnormal changes that occur in the anus are oftentimes harmless in the early stages but may eventually develop into cancer. According to Cheyenne Corbett, LMFT, “Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are a rare breed in cancer care settings. However, their skill set lends itself perfectly to working within this environment.”
No one ever wants to hear the word cancer from their doctor and yet it’s one of the most common illnesses affecting millions today. Cancer is a tricky condition because there are lots of forms and sometimes you honestly think you’re healthy when, in reality, there is something wrong. When you suspect there is something wrong and go to the doctor, you need to be prepared for the tests that may come. Read on to find out a little more about cancer and what you might face.
When there is a lump or unusual tissue on the body, doctors may decide it looks serious enough to get it checked. Now, for women, breast screening can often be a simple task. If a woman finds a lump on her breast or even under her armpit and the doctor believes it needs to be checked out further, they will understand what it is better with a scan. Cancer has specialized screenings and scans that can focus in on the lump and doctors can determine if it’s a cancerous growth. If that is the case, further tests may be conducted.
Every single human being dreads the day they are given the news they have cancer. Sitting in a doctor’s office and being told about the condition is frightening and life-changing and, for many, it’s all too much for them to bear. Colon cancer is one form of cancer that affects millions throughout the world and for many, they have so many questions about it. The following are just a few simple questions you may want to ask.
Colon cancer is something which very few people think about or are aware of. The truth is cancer can come in a variety of forms and it can affect the body in so many ways. It’s important that you’re able to spot the signs quickly enough so that action can be taken, get help with cancer, and hopefully overcome the illness. Unfortunately for most, they do not know the warning signs of colon cancer so it’s might be best to be aware of them. Read on to find out the early warning signs of colon cancer.
A Rapid Loss of Weight
Have you been losing weight recently? Have you been on a diet and, if so, how much weight have you lost exactly? First and foremost, if you start to notice a change in your weight, you need to keep a very close eye on it. Even when you have been exercising, you shouldn’t be losing weight at a rapid speed as it’s not good. There might be a serious problem somewhere and, in truth, it is an early warning sign of colon cancer. It’s important to keep an eye on your weight until you can get an appointment with a doctor and note, if you can, how much weight you’ve lost.