The most important things to remember when you have been diagnosed with cancer:
1. Write your questions down. Don’t think that any question is too “dumb” to ask, or that you need to ask the same question again and again. Your doctor and nurse (usually specialists in cancer care or “oncology”) want you to be “informed”, to understand your disease and your treatment.
2. Always bring a family member or friend with you to your doctor’s visits and treatments with the oncology nurse. They can make sure that you remember to ask your questions, and they can help to remember and understand the answers. You can bring a tape recorder to record your doctor or nurse’s answers.
3. Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, and try to organize your life to decrease the stress and demands you face every day. Ask your family and friends for help with your children, with your household duties, and with your work responsibilities.
4. Ask your doctor or nurse for the name of a social worker or counselor who works with cancer patients a lot. It oftentimes helps to talk with a professional person about the family, financial, insurance issues and work related stresses that you are concerned about. They can refer you to resources that can help you, or they can do some counseling with you and your family.
5. Ask your nurse for advice about your diet while you are on treatment. Certain treatments can make eating difficult. There are things you and your family can do to help you with your nutrition.
6. Getting cancer treatments, visiting the doctor, having tests performed, can all be very stressful. There is a lot of waiting, and procedures can be uncomfortable. You can bring a tape recorder or CD player. Listen to music or books on tape that you enjoy. Some people like to write or draw during these frequent waiting periods. Bring plenty of water, juices and snacks to help you get through these long stretches. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Some people learn how to do focused relaxation exercises. There are specialists who can teach you how to do self-relaxation exercises so you can tolerate the sometimes-uncomfortable treatments you may experience. Ask the social worker for some recommendations.
7. If you don’t like how things are going, if they are not what you expected, or if you don’t understand what is being done and why, speak up. Talk with your doctors or nurses. They are very experienced in working with patients with your type of disease and treatment. They want to help you do your very best. They will do their best to answer your questions, to change your medications if necessary, and to make you more comfortable.
8. Finally, be hopeful. You have a great “team” looking out for you. Work WITH them. Take care of yourself. Keep your appointments. Communicate with your doctors and nurses so they understand how you are doing, and what needs to be done to help you do better. Communicate with your family and friends.
Asian Pacific Islander Cancer Education Materials Tool
The APICEM Tool provides links to Contributor’s web sites containing Asian or Pacific Islander cancer education materials. The materials referenced here have been screened by the contributing organizations/programs for medical accuracy and cultural relevance. The contributors remain solely responsible for the content of their materials. Please note that all materials remain copyrighted and property of the contributors providing them. They are made available to you here to print as a convenience.
This Tool is made possible by cooperation from The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training (AANCART). ACS and AANCART have developed this web tool to permit cancer education materials in Asian and Pacific Islander languages to be electronically retrievable from contributing organizations/programs. Visit Website »
Cleaning For A Reason
If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning – once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It’s our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along. Visit Website »
Coping with Cancer – National Cancer Institute
Supportive Care. Visit Website »
Head covering store for cancer patients
The Next Step
15400 National Avenue, Ste 20, Los Gatos, CA. 95032
(408) 3358 8433
Almost Hair Unlimited
34732 Gladstone Place, Fremont, CA.
(510) 713 9447
Sister Study is looking for minority women with breast cancer.
The Sister Study is the only long-term study of women aged 35 to 74 whose sister had breast cancer. It is a national study to learn about environmental and genetic causes of breast cancer. In the next 3 years, 50,000 women who live in the US and who have had at least one sister with breast cancer and do not have breast cancer themselves will be asked to join the study. To find out more about who is leading the Sister Study, visit “Who is Leading the Study?”. Visit Website »
Blog for Filipino/ Asian American Health
The “Community Health Outreach Project” is a blog about issues, concerns, news, events and changes affecting the health status and well-being of Filipino-Americans. Visit Website »