Managing your Cancer Positively

Increasing cancer incidence together with improved survival rates are contributing to the growing number of cancer survivors.

Survivors may encounter a range of potential effects as a result of the cancer and its treatment. Traditionally, follow up has been undertaken by oncology specialists. The major focus has been on detection of cancer recurrence; however the efficacy of such strategies is questionable ( check out the page on self management)

Current follow up frequently fails to identify or adequately address many survivors’ concerns. After care needs to be planned to enable better outcomes for survivors, whilst using scarce health care resources efficiently.

Recent government directives have stressed the importance of identifying and addressing the needs of people who are living longer with and beyond cancer

A National Cancer Survivorship Initiative was born out of the recognition by government that current services do not meet the needs of this group of people.

These recommendations are aimed at modernising cancer-care, acknowledging that central to the concept of self-management is the idea that wellness or recovery is at its heart and that we need to give people with cancer the skills to enable them to self- manage.

5 elements are key to the process of self-management in cancer survivorship. These comprise of:

  • Basic problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making
  • The ability to find and utilise resources
  • The forming of collaborative partnerships between patients and healthcare providers
  • Taking action.

The information on this website is there to give you some of the skills and resources to enable you to take back some control of your cancer.

Knowing what to look for and what to expect. Knowing what’s normal & not normal. Reading through the section on ‘questions to ask at the end of treatment’ and who to go to when you’re worried are the first important steps to take.

To be fully informed you should read through the evidence on the importance of diet & exercise in disease management.

If you go to the links page you can access The Macmilan Cancer site and find even more information

“Cancer will always leave a scar. The scars are internal, they’re emotional, they’re intellectual, and they’re physical. The physical scars are probably the least of the worries, but it’s the emotional scars that people go through…” Neil

 

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