Why Being With Family Is Important For Cancer Patients

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diagnoses a patient can receive. It can feel overwhelming for someone to be diagnosed with cancer. At that time, more than ever, someone diagnosed with cancer will need their family and friends. When someone you love has cancer, you might want to help, but not know what to do. 

Cancer and its treatment have both physical and mental effects. Procedures such as chemotherapy can leave a cancer patient physically exhausted afterward.

The disease itself can render patients physically weak and unable to perform routine daily tasks. Psychologically speaking, patients can experience depression and feel hopeless. 

Help Them At Home 

A person who has cancer may require help doing previously effortless tasks. Basic tasks such as getting dressed, eating, or preparing food may become painful or outright impossible. Family members living with the patient will need to assist them, and possibly take on the responsibilities the patient previously had. 

The patient might insist on performing their usual daily activities, in defiance of their illness. Pushing themselves too hard can be detrimental; it helps to remind them that there is no shame in resting. Cancer is still a mortal foe to face, and the patient will need as much of their strength as they can to fight it. 

It truly helps someone with cancer to have more assistance than usual – they most likely won’t be able to help with responsibilities around their homes.

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Keep Social Contact 

Cancer patients can feel isolated, especially now with COVID-19. It’s critical to remind family members that have cancer that they are not alone. Remind them that they are loved. Studies have shown that mortality rates in cancer patients increase in depressed patients. 

Your family members with cancer need your support and your companionship. They need to know and internalize that they are not alone. They must feel that you are there to support them.

You might think that someone with cancer is best left alone to rest. Sometimes, that may be the case, but it is equally important to let the patient know that their family and friends will not forget them. 

Curb Hopelessness 

Patients might express feelings of hopelessness. The thought that cancer might end their lives at any moment is a staggering revelation. To someone with cancer, their lives might seem to be on a timer, about to be cut short. It can be easy for them to ask, “what’s the point?” 

That kind of thinking can easily lead to a never-ending downward spiral into hopelessness. A person in that spiral will find it difficult, if not impossible, to change their thoughts on the matter. To break out of that spiral, a person will usually need a push from the outside. 

That’s where family and friends come in. As much as possible, try to keep their hopes up. Each patient will respond differently – one person might need words of encouragement; others may prefer facts.

Whoever you find yourself assisting could need something else entirely. What is essential is that the patient – your loved one – does not lose hope.

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Keep Communications Open 

According to Anne Moyer Ph.D., cancer has various effects on a patient’s relationships. “These include distress, fears about the future, pain, changes in body and self-image, fatigue, and physical and sexual functionality.”

As a result, these can alter the relationships and activities they engage in. Some people might try to tough it out and not ask for help, especially emotional support.

Family and friends will play a crucial role in helping a cancer patient recover, but the patient has to know that help is available. Do not let them think that they have to do everything on their own – your loved ones should know that they can call on you, or call on a professional for mental health assistance. 

Given that family members are usually with patients, it will fall upon them to ensure that they keep communications with the patient open. The person with cancer needs to know that they can ask for help at any time.

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Take Care Of Yourself Too 

Cancer patients need their family around them, and having a loving support system is, without a doubt, helpful to their ability to recover. However, you will find it challenging to take care of someone if you neglect yourself. Make sure that you have your support systems as well. 

You might call on other family members or friends to help you maintain your physical and mental health. Just as your afflicted family member needs help and can ask for help, you too might need assistance.

Caregiving and the extra responsibilities you might have to take on can be tiring. Don’t forget about yourself while helping someone else. You, your family, and your loved one are in this fight together.

 

Looking After Yourself While There Is Still A Global Health Crisis

Raise your hand if you believe that life isn’t fair.

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I can say it with conviction as I think of every cancer patient across the globe. Cancer is not the most straightforward condition, considering the number of affected cells is almost insignificant at first. That is especially true for blood, ovarian, or brain cancer. Thus, the symptoms may only manifest when it is already at a critical stage, and then the patients have no other option but to get expensive treatment or pray for a miracle.

What’s makes matters worse for cancer patients these days is the threat of having COVID-19. There may no longer be a single person on the planet who does not know how much trouble it can put anyone in. If healthy folks get infected by the coronavirus and need a ventilator to survive, how will the individuals with pre-existing conditions fare?

Well, I am not an expert on either disease, so I cannot and will not offer medical advice. Still, it does not entail that I am forbidden to share as a friend how you can look after yourself while there is a global health crisis.

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Avoid Going Out 

The first thing you should do is avoid going out of the house. Its four walls not only protect you against natural disasters now but also keep you from catching the virus. The more you leave the place, the more you may come across a coronavirus carrier.

Considering your alibi is that you need to get chemotherapy or no one can buy groceries for you, it is not acceptable at this time. After all, you may ask your doctor to let you do oral chemotherapy to continue the treatment at home. As for your essentials, most retail stores already have online marketplaces where you can order food and other supplies and deliver them at your doorstep.

Sleep A Lot

Sleep is undoubtedly one of the most effective medicines that a doctor can ever prescribe. Sleeping helps your body repair damaged cells and wash away your fatigue, so you tend to feel energized as soon as your eyes open.

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Cancer patients must sleep longer than others for various reasons, such as:

  • It can keep you from thinking about leaving the house.
  • You need to strengthen your immunity to beat the odds of catching the coronavirus.
  • Worrying about COVID-19 while you are awake may aggravate your existing condition.

Eat Well

Getting chemotherapy sessions cannot be the best activity ever to try. It hurts to feel the needle go under your skin at least twice a week; you may not even have the energy or appetite to eat.

Despite that, now is the perfect time to push yourself to eat healthily. Like sleep, healthy eating may help you dodge or withstand the symptoms of COVID-19, even if you have cancer. And if you cannot make the dish, you can always have salads and other foods delivered at home.

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Final Thoughts

Based on what’s happening in the world, it does not seem like the health crisis will not clear off sooner than we all want. The coronavirus does not care how many lives it has already taken—it intends to continue infecting people until every man, woman, or child has the disease.

Nonetheless, you may not be able to see the pandemic end if you do not look after yourself now. The worst-case scenario is that you catch the coronavirus, experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, and join the stars in the sky at night. 

In case you are still not ready to meet our maker yet, you should stay at home and eat and sleep well. Leave the worrying job to the authorities and just focus on your health. Good luck!

Why Cancer Patients Worry About Coronavirus

As a volunteer at organizations that support cancer patients, I have become friends with a lot of people who have the disease. Some of them are winning against cancer and showing it who’s the boss of their bodies. Others know that they are on the losing side and merely want to make the most out of their remaining days. Either way, I admire all of them for not giving up on life as soon as they have learned about the diagnosis.

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What worries most cancer patients now, though, is the coronavirus outbreak. Governors sent out an order to go into home quarantine indefinitely. Ill people are expected to practice more caution than everyone else. COVID-19, a viral disease, is not as effortless to shake off as flu, according to experts. Once the coronavirus enters your bloodstream, you can only pray that your immune system is tough enough to kill it.

The Virus Targets Immuno-Compromised Individuals

The most troubling fact about the coronavirus is that it targets immuno-compromised people. Cancer patients fall under this category. After all, chemotherapy and radiation force their immune system to protect healthy cells around the cancerous ones. If the virus goes into the mix, their immunity may become overpowered in days.

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This is why you should try to follow the quarantine regulations as much as possible. Do not leave your home anytime; isolate yourself in a room if you live with someone who goes out daily. In case you are alone, ask the store manager if they can deliver your essentials right at your doorstep. This way, the coronavirus will get less to zero opportunity to enter your domain.

Checkups May Be Postponed For A Later Time

A close friend of mine was supposed to meet his doctor on the 28th of March. It was well into the quarantine period, though, so it got postponed. His last chemotherapy session should have taken place a week after that, but it was canceled, too. The doctor merely advised him to take oral medication, which practically worked slower than usual treatment.

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Why is this happening, you may ask? Well, it is for the safety of both the cancer patient and the medical professionals. Chemotherapy often occurs in hospitals, and there may no longer be one that does not have a COVID-19 patient. In case they catch the coronavirus elsewhere and learn about it later, they may unintentionally infect the nurses or doctors they come in contact with during the session.

Transportation Can Be An Issue

Going from the house to the hospital and back did not use to be troublesome before the coronavirus outbreak. If the patient does not have a car, they can book an Uber or Lyft ride. Another option is to take the bus, subway, or taxi.

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Although public transportation has not been entirely stopped even when people have been told to stay at home, cancer patients cannot use them without caution. After all, the drivers have no idea whether their previous passengers have the virus or not. It may linger inside the vehicle and get transmitted to others.

Final Thoughts

A lot of states are starting to ease their quarantine orders at the time of writing this blog. Some businesses other than groceries and restaurants can now open, too. Despite that, it may not be safe for cancer patients to go anywhere as long as there is no treatment for COVID-19. If a cure is available, after all, you have a better chance of getting the coronavirus out of your system. Without it, well, all your efforts to beat cancer may go to waste.

Stay strong and stay at home!

What You Can Do For An Anal Cancer Patient

The 2017 Anal Cancer Symposium had attendees from the medical field, patients, and their loved ones. When you know someone with cancer, it can also be overwhelming for you. As a friend or family member, you want to help out. But how can you do that? Asking them may not be the best course of action as they may not know as well.

Instead, here are some concrete ways you can show your support for your loved one during these trying times.

Spend Some Quality Time With Them

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A cancer diagnosis can be scary to deal with alone. Make sure to find quality time to spend with them. Look for activities that aren’t so strenuous. You can go to the theater to watch a movie or screen one at their home. It matters to show that you’re still there and enjoy being around them.

But always be mindful of their limits. Cancer patients will often feel fatigued, especially for those who undergo treatment. Be present but also learn to let them rest when they need to.

Offer To Be There During A Session

For those who go through chemotherapy or other medical treatments, trips to the hospital can be tiring emotionally and physically. Although some won’t admit it, they can experience anxiety over appointments.

It helps if you’re physically there to support them during these trips. You can also offer to drive them there so they can feel more at ease. Additionally, pay attention to and take note of what the doctors say during these appointments. The patient may not have a clear memory after treatment.

Help Them With Chores

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Chores can be demanding for everyone. It’s especially challenging when you’re experiencing the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. So why not offer to help your loved ones with their chores? Even something as small as cooking a meal for them can be helpful. Other tasks you can offer to help with are doing the groceries, tidying up the room, picking up kids from school, and walking the dog. Help keep the household smoothly running for them.

Summary

We all want to support our loved ones during trying times. Their comfort and happiness are top priorities when it comes to helping them out. Whether it’s doing something to cheer them up or freeing time and energy, your help can go a long way.

The Role of Fibrotic Stroma Discussed at the SF Fibrosis Conference 2018

 

A lot was discussed and shared at the 2018 San Francisco conference. The main topic was the argument of whether fibrotic stroma serves as a support or a barrier in cancer, specifically in breast and lung cancer. But just what is a fibrotic stroma? Let us first know what it is, how it progresses, and why it is important to learn about this condition.

Source: wikimedia.org

Fibrotic Stroma Defined

Technically, the term ‘stroma’ refers to supportive and connective tissues that surround or are found within organs. When you say ‘sclerotic stroma,’ it describes a hardened and fibrous breast tissue but with no cancerous or malignant growth.

Fibrotic stroma, or stromal fibrosis, has multiple names. It can refer to fibrous mastopathy or breast disease or breast fibrosis. Currently, this diagnosis has progressed to nearly 10%. Histologically, it describes the growth of inter and intralobular tissue that continues to become dense, increases in number, but is usually benign.

Today, there is still no exact evidence of how it arises, although most studies show that it may be of estrogen-dependent origin that has initially caused the fibroblast growth. However, this has not shown to have an epithelial effect, which is also supported by the fact that the condition is found mostly in premenopausal women.

It is also believed to be a result of an involuted gland or a previously inflamed gland. There have been some reports of premenopausal women consulting their physicians about a palpable mass in their breast area. This has also become a more common diagnosis in patients who have undergone core needle biopsy.

Focal Fibrosis

Focal fibrosis of the breast, on the other hand, is typically described as a benign condition, seen as damaged or destroyed ductal and acinar structures with hypocellular tissues upon pathological exam. These findings, however, are not specific.

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It is a relief to know, though, that experiencing fibrocystic breast changes do not increase your likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer. These breast changes are not uncommon, and women often feel these lumps on their surrounding breast tissues. They may also feel breast pain during their menstrual period because of this.

 

Top 3 Things To Say To A Cancer Patient

Finding out that the love of your life is suffering from cancer can turn your world upside down. You will probably lose the will to go on because you do not know what to do next. It will seem that a big part of your heart is aching, and you have no idea what to do next. Do not worry because what you are feeling is only a normal reaction to such unfortunate news.

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At this point in your life, you are probably wondering how you can support your loved one from this heartbreaking experience. You may start to wonder what you can give up just to take his pain away. The sad or unfortunate thing is, there is nothing you can do to remove his cancer cells. However, you can help him get better despite his medical condition.

 

In this article, we are going to share the effective words that you must say to a loved one with cancer. Be sure that you use these words at the right time so that he can feel your unconditional love and support.

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“I Am Here”

 

Sometimes, all you must do is to give an assurance to the one you love that you will stay by his side or corner no matter what happens. Make him feel that he is the luckiest guy alive because you will never give up on him. Tell him that he is amazing at how he is handling his health concerns. Be there for him whenever he needs someone to talk to or to assist him. Never make the mistake of showing him that you are too busy for his needs. Make him a top priority at all times.

 

I Trust You”

 

One of the common mistakes of people, when it comes to dealing with cancer patients, is acting weird or overwhelmingly concerned. Whether you like it or not, the truth is that the other person does not want to see you act insane whenever he is around. Show you care and love in the right manner. Make him feel that you trust his own decisions and actions. Remember that he is not crippled.

“I Love You”

 

Of course, you must also never miss the chance to let the other person know how much he matters in your life. You must stop thinking of his illness so that nothing will change between the two of you. The best and ideal thing to do is to continue making him feel how special and amazing he is. Never let a day pass without uttering these three sweet words. The more you let him know how much you love him, the more motivated he will become to fight his illness. Do not hesitate in expressing your affection for him.

 

Take note that now is the time in your partner’s life that he needs you the most. Stop showing him that you are hurting because it will only break him down. Instead, be his pillar of hope and strength.

For Cancer Patients: Cheer Yourself Up

Getting a diagnosis from your physician that you have cancer can put you down on your knees. Your initial reaction would be to feel shocked, especially if you are taking good care of your body well. At the same time, you may think that life has cheated on you because of the sickness that you have. Take note that everything that you are feeling at the moment is only temporary. There are many ways that you can do if you want to start to feel better about yourself.

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Before anything else, we want to remind you that having a medical condition does not necessarily mean that the world is ending for you. Just because you have cancer does not mean that you can no longer see your loved ones or friends. All you need to do is to remain healthy and faithful. Believe that everything is going to be fine soon so that you can survive this traumatic experience. Here are the things to know to help you cheer up:

 

Acceptance Is The Key

 

The first and crucial step that you must do as soon as possible is to accept the medical diagnosis. Never deny to yourself that you have a condition that needs immediate care and assistance. Keep in mind that the faster you accept your cancer illness, the faster it would be on your part to look for a solution. Stop blaming other people or circumstances for what you are going through. Be stronger than you are. Nothing should ever make you feel that there is no hope.

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Talk About It

 

Now that you already know your condition, the best thing that you can consider is to discuss it with a friend or someone close to you. You can also talk to your family if you want them to get an update about your difficult situation. Take note that your parents or loved ones deserve to know if you have a sensitive medical condition. Learn how to talk about it to others so that the acceptance process will be a lot easier. You can also search for a therapist if you want, especially if you are not comfortable discussing your problems with someone you know.

 

Exercise Regularly

 

Now is the perfect time in your life to incorporate exercise and fitness routine. Make a promise to yourself that you will become physically active. Remember that the benefits of going to the gym or having morning runs are unlimited. You will be surprised at how it can improve your mood in an instant. Aside from this, exercise can also improve your mental wellness aside from the physical health benefits. Find a fitness buddy or partner who can help you stay motivated as you live a healthy lifestyle.

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Having cancer is not the end of the world for you, which is why you have to keep on moving forward. Keep in mind that you are a powerful human being who can transform everything into something positive.

 

How To Effectively Handle The Loss of A Loved One

One of the worst things that can happen in your life is losing a loved one. There is no easy way to handle the fact that a special part of your life is no longer around. Do not feel strange or bad if you are struggling at the moment since you do not know how to move on from your loss. What you are experiencing and feeling at the moment is only typical for someone who is coming face-to-face with grief.

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In this article, we are going to provide you with the tips that you need to master if you want to feel better after losing your loved one to cancer. Before anything else, it is crucial on your part to be ready for the next journey of your life. Just because one person dies does not mean that you no longer have something to live for. What is essential in this life is that you have peace of mind and belief that everything is going to be fine soon.

 

Here are the things to remember so that you can move on right away. Make sure to familiarize them:

 

Feel The Loss

 

The first step is to stop denying to yourself the loss of a special someone in your life. As already mentioned above, it is okay to let all your feelings out. If you are sad or upset about the death of your loved one, do not be afraid to cry your heart out. No one is supposed to tell you what to feel. Keep in mind that you are the only one who can manage what you are feeling inside.

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Be With Family

 

Now is the best time in your life to be surrounded by your family members. Make sure that you spend most of your time with them because they are the ones who can help you move on or survive this challenging moment. You must stop thinking that they cannot help you in any way. Remind yourself that they are the only ones who will save you from misery. Do not hesitate to open up to your family about what you feel so that they can know how to support you.

 

Seek Therapy

 

Another effective way of handling grief or loss is to start looking for a therapist. Do not think that you are alone in this situation. Instead, remind yourself that you are a fantastic individual who can survive what you are going through. All you need is to get in touch with a therapist who can make the process easier on your part. Just because you have a therapist does not mean that you are insane. Instead, treat it as an opportunity to improve your life and bounce back from heartbreak.

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Cancer can take the people you love, and it can hurt a lot. However, you need to be stronger for yourself. Stop thinking of what was lost. Instead, focus on the bright future ahead of you. Remember that you can still recover from this unfortunate experience. You need to make better choices.

 

4 Ways To Handle Cancer

One of the saddest things that you will experience in this life is discovering that you have a serious medical condition. It can be challenging and hard to face the reality that no matter how careful you are, you still fell a victim of cancer. Maybe you think that this world is unfair because you have an illness even if you always put your health as a top priority. Aside from this, you may also feel bitterness, especially if you think that you are a nice person.

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If there is one crucial thing that you must remember at this point, it is the reality that there are tons of ways on how you can handle cancer. Your life is not ending just because you have been diagnosed with this disease. Sometimes, you have to be stronger than what you are suffering from. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips on how to handle cancer:

 

Ask Questions

 

For sure, there are several things in your mind that you need to clear out. Do not feel bad for having tons of questions about your condition. Remember that you have a doctor who can answer everything you need to know. Do not hesitate to ask questions so that you can know more about your condition. Feel free to throw any form of inquiries to ensure that nothing will bother you.

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Be With Loved Ones

 

Now is a difficult moment in your life, which means that you need to be around the people who make you feel alive. Get in touch with your family and make them feel how much you value them. Stop thinking about the hardships that you are going through and focus on getting assistance and support from your loved ones.

 

Take A Break

 

Sometimes, you need to be brave and strong enough to go on a vacation on your own. Be out of your comfort zone and take a break to a place that you have always wanted to visit for a long time. Remind yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Travel alone so that you will discover yourself. In so doing, you will become more motivated to keep living.

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Have Faith

 

Another thing that you must never forget is to keep faithful despite the situation. Keep in mind that you can survive this difficult moment, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above. Try to remain positive because it is the only way to handle your biggest issues. Remember that if you allow your illness to bring you down, there is a big possibility that you may no longer recover.

 

If you think that your condition is making things a lot more difficult for you, feel free to consider talking to a therapist. Be brave in seeking out professional help if you think that it is what you need at the moment. There are various form of therapy treatments that can help you get going, despite having a serious illness.

The Emotional Struggle Of Having An Anal Cancer (A Confession To A Therapist)

In all honesty, the diagnosis of anal cancer includes an unwarranted stigma on it. That is because when someone gets diagnosed with the condition, there is an instant buildup of shame. There is a constant questioning of “whys.” With that, a therapist would understand that the emotional struggle sometimes takes a big part of the whole recovery process. And that is due to patients’ mentality. There is an embarrassment because the condition appears located at the awkward part of the body.

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The Stigma

A lot of individuals do not realize that cancer does not control its existence. Meaning, you get to have it from any parts of the body, regardless if it is internal or external. Small and huge, mild or severe, still it won’t matter. Someone can get cancer just anywhere, including the anal. In some unfortunate cases, even if a lot of people understand what the condition is, they sometimes do not want to seek out help. These persons are too embarrassed to let others know that they have anal cancer. With that, the idea of stepping through the awkwardness of the whole situation becomes less confronting. Therefore, treatments get disregarded as well.

The Reality

Due to societal pressure and different perception towards the particular body part, individuals with anal cancer feel less confident about themselves. They try to ignore signs and symptoms without thinking about the possible growth and severity of the condition. So when things appear complicated and when they already decided to seek out help finally, it becomes too late. That is because these people tend to ignore what their body is telling them only because they consider their emotional state more. But no one can blame them. The judgments and criticisms they are afraid to get is the primary source of the damage to their mental health.

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Anal Cancer And Mental Health

People with anal cancer become over thinkers. That explains why almost all of them obtain a diagnosis of severe anxiety and clinical depression. The reason for that is the small percentage of individuals who are more concern about what could happen negatively. These individuals continuously think about stuff like undergoing surgery, financial battle along with the condition, hassle with therapy and treatments, and fear of dying. These negative thoughts become the center of their lives. There is a constant worry for everything that sometimes the whole scenario turns unrealistic anymore.

In some cases, people with anal cancer tend to become more irritable, angry, and unpredictable. Sometimes they feel okay but then can feel a little off in an instant. These people do not concentrate on what is in front of them and often try to waste time thinking about more significant problems. Nevertheless, these individuals’ worries become untypical that it begins to consume their lives.

Worry and stress are indeed natural. That is especially for those people who are experiencing a particular unfortunate event of their lives. So others can’t blame them for feeling and thinking that way. Becoming ill for the short or long period takes a toll on the physical, emotional, and mental aspect of every individual with anal cancer. One cannot fully understand what these people are going through. So with the entire stigma that covers the whole case of having anal cancer, everything emotional and psychological becomes a never-ending battle.

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Help, Not Criticize

It is understandable that even if we try to encourage these patients to undergo treatment and seek out help, they will genuinely ignore the advice. Some of them may not pay attention, and others can show no concern at all. But as concerned individuals, we have to become part of their journey. Instead of telling them how they should do things on their won, we have to walk them through their recovery. And the best way we can do that is by helping, not judging. We need to cut the stigma that keeps them away from asking professional help. We have to help them put an end to their unwanted feelings.

It is hard for patients with anal cancer to stay positive. That is especially when the social environment is not cooperating with their recovery. So instead of us becoming one of those negative people, we can try to become the accommodating ones. Who knows? Perhaps things will become a little different with these individuals when we show them that we can make a difference by just showing that we care.