A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening. You can help yourself to feel more in control by taking an active role in your health care. To help you cope, try to:
July 26, 2013
- Learn enough about anal cancer to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about your anal cancer, including the stage of your cancer, your treatment options and, if you like, your prognosis. As you learn more about anal cancer, you may become more confident in making treatment decisions.
- Keep friends and family close. Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your anal cancer. Friends and family can provide the practical support you'll need, such as helping take care of your house if you're in the hospital. And they can serve as emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.
Find someone to talk with. Find a good listener with whom you can talk about your hopes and fears. This may be a friend or family member. The concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support group also may be helpful.
Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, library or a cancer organization, such as the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.
- Deng GE, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: Complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7:85.
- Anal carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Anal cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/anal/patient. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Gardasil (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2013. http://www.gardasil.com. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Cervarix (prescribing information). Research Triangle Park, N.C.: GlaxoSmithKline; 2012. http://us.gsk.com/html/medicines/index.html#vaccines. Accessed May 23, 2013.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed May 28, 2013.