Cancer Survivorship Care in India

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Survivorship Care

Life after cancer treatment can bring lots of hope, and happiness but also fear and worry. Every person has a different way of coping with survival after cancer and managing the complex emotions. Returning to normal life will take patience, practice and time.

One of the strongest fears faced by survivors is that of having the cancer come back (recurrence) often leading to concerns of death and dying. Other issues may become more evident  such as relationships, finances and career. Although many are able to cope with life after treatment, it is always a benefit to have a support system whether it be family, friends, religious groups, support groups or even professional counselors.


Returning to “normalcy”

When the treatment is over, the visits to the hospital become less frequent and the return to normal life may not be as easy. Many tasks which were done by you before cancer treatment have been taken over by others. Everything will not go back to the days of before the diagnosis. You, your family and those around you will need time to adjust. It is important to keep a positive attitude.

As you spend more time at home, you may pay close attention to your aches and pains. You may have trouble sleeping, making simple decisions or even intimacy with your partner.the fear that the cancer has returned may become a concern.

Over time, the thought of cancer and the recurrence will begin to decrease. Even after years of treatment, there may be still be instances which could worry you such as:

  • Follow up visits or medical tests
  • Anniversary events (such as day of diagnosis, surgery, chemo etc.)
  • Birthdays
  • Learning someone you know has cancer, or has died due to cancer
  • New symptoms
  • Symptoms like the ones you had before you were diagnosed

Ways to deal with fear

  • Be aware that there is no control over the recurrence of cancer
  • Express your fears to a trusted friend or a counselor.
  • Try to live in the present rather than in the past or the uncertain future
  • Setting a daily schedule will help to get back in getting back to normal.

Always remember that you are a cancer survivor, one of a million others who are alive  after having cancer. Like most of them, you  and the people around you can adjust to lead a very fulfilling life after cancer.

Authored By : Dr. Shiva Kumar Uppala

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