Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Treatment trajectory of cancer treatment

Firstly, you can get much information from specific organizations that advocate for those with specific types of cancer. This is true for any of the specific cancers: breast cancer, lung cancer. I use prostate cancer as an example, since we are dealing with this in my family. E.g., Prostate Cancer an information video.

Challenges arise in the Treatment trajectory:

  1. Diagnosis: biopsies, test results. Lack of control and uncertainty and isolation, fear and/or depression. 
  2. Treatment and decision-making phase: weighing the many options and survival rates vs. quality of life can be a heavy burden.
  3. Treatment: not as stressful in the face of threat. You feel you are challenging and confronting cancer. 
  4. Post-treatment side effects: These impact quality of life. Programs help those deal with them. While this is a 'man's disease', it effects the entire family and it is a couple's disease. It has an effect on all who come into contact with the patient confronting cancer. This includes exercise and psycho-social counselling and support groups that focus on the emotional impact.

Treatment Side Effects

Prostate Cancer Canada
Chemotherapy Treatment
  1. Nausea
  2. vomiting
  3. pain
  4. hair loss
  5. infection
  6. fatigue and anemia
  7. anxiety
  8. constipation
  9. loss of appetite
  10. sleep issues
  11. confusion
We are adaptive creatures. We can feel shock once we are diagnosed, but we are empowered by learning about what we can do. Finding strategies and tools gives us the opportunity to be active in seeking treatment to challenge the disease.

Radical Prostatectomy
Surgery to remove the prostate results in temporary loss of bladder control.

The goal: to return to pre-diagnosis quality of life (sexual functioning, bladder control, emotional
Robotic surgery for prostate cancer
control, fatigue symptoms).

  • Exercises focus on pelvic floor strength. 
  • Aerobic and resistance strength to control fatigue. (New evidence says that exercise is important in the face of fatigue.)
  • Integrating experiences throughout the disease trajectory will result in a better outcome for the patient and his family.
For anyone interested: Go to the Prostate Cancer Canada website. Click on Support. You will find a list of upcoming webinars for which anyone can register. You will find a link to each of the previous webinars, all of which are interesting. These are also available on the Prostate Cancer Canada channel of YouTube. Another valuable service is the Prostate Cancer Information Service where questions about prostate cancer can be e-mailed to support@prostatecancer.ca or phoned to 1-855-PCC-INFO (1-855-722-4636).

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