Cancer Treatment and Support

Treatments can be tough – but so are you

Today’s cancer research, like V-funded research, continues to advance treatment options and reduce side effects. New and less harsh treatments are being researched daily. But cancer is a formidable foe, and sometimes the current treatment practices of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and other options can be difficult.

These treatment options can take a toll on physical health – fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation, severe nausea, muscle or joint soreness, or other side effects. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time, and to protect yourself from infection. Similar to preventing cancer, a healthy lifestyle – eating a healthy diet, exercising when able and hydrating – has been seen to help some patients deal with the side effects of treatments.

It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and limitations. Be aware that chemotherapy can leave you immunocompromised and increase the risks of other diseases. Lean on your community for assistance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed. We commonly say it takes a team to beat cancer. Build a team around you that you can trust and confide in.

In addition to physical ailments, cancer can impact the mental health of patients and their loved ones. This serious disease can induce a lot of anxiety and other emotions. It is difficult, but you are strong. One suggestion is setting short- and long-term goals to provide motivation. Another, finding activities that give you peace. They could be reading, meditating, praying, movie watching, spending time with family, etc.

Some patients seek a licensed mental health professional to walk alongside them as they process some of the feelings that come with a cancer diagnosis. This can be a greatly beneficial way to process and voice feelings. A patient’s mental health is incredibly important throughout their cancer journey.

V Foundation founder Jim Valvano said, “Every day ordinary people do extraordinary things.” Everyone who fights cancer is doing something extraordinary.

You Are Not Alone

While cancer is increasingly common, it’s easy for patients and their caregivers to feel isolated or alone. You’re not alone. What you or a loved one is going through is going to be tough, but none is alone.

When faced with cancer, it’s a time to draw on family, friends and community members. Because doctors’ appointments can be very overwhelming with a lot of information, taking a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor might be beneficial to support the patient and take notes. Sometimes, it might be better to have two people accompany the patient to appointments, one there for logistical support (notetaking, remembering information, etc.) and the other there for emotional support.

Another option that has been helpful for some is seeking out support groups. Many support groups can be found on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, others), websites, local communities, etc. The focus of these groups can range from cancer type (which can be especially reassuring for rare cancer types), religious affiliation, period of life, caretakers, etc. Finding others that are going through similar situations can be comforting for both the patient and caregiver.

We’re on Your Team

The V Foundation offers hope that research done in the past, present and future will assist you or your loved one in your/their battle with cancer. Whether it is a new screening option, new treatments, treatments with gentler side effects, or developments for after treatment – there are thousands of researchers dedicated to cancer research.

We’ve awarded over $353 million for cancer research, totaling over 1,200 grants, and we’re driven to achieving Victory Over Cancer®. The researchers we fund are the best and brightest in their fields, coming from the top cancer centers in North America. They want their research to help you or your loved one, and the many people diagnosed with cancer in the future.

No one is alone, and there are many people supporting you or your loved one who are unseen, like the thousands of researchers in labs across the country and donors making their work possible.

Our mantra is simple and we hope you will adopt it: “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®
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