NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 77

77
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
Part 7: Beyond cancer treatment
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Definitions:
Chemotherapy:
Drugs
that kill all cells that grow
rapidly, including normal
cells and cancer cells
Side effect:
An unplanned
physical or emotional
response to treatment
Many patients benefit from some exercise. Exercise tones muscles, lowers
stress, and improves health. Exercise programs differ between people based on
their needs. Talk with your treatment team about which exercises would be best
for you.
7.6 Caring for caregivers
No one experiences cancer alone. Having cancer can affect your loved ones,
especially those who provide care. This care can take many forms. It can
range from giving emotional support to giving medical services in the home.
Caregivers often take on extra duties to keep life normal for the family. They
also play a central role in explaining what is happening to you to others, like
friends and doctors.
It is natural for caregivers to focus on you. Don’t feel guilty. However, caregivers
need to meet their own needs as well. Cancer treatment can last from months
to years. Caregivers often get too tired from the physical and mental challenges
related to the cancer. It isn’t easy, but caregivers need to take care of
themselves. If they don’t, they won’t be able to take good care of anyone. Part
7.7 lists some ideas on coping for caregivers.
You may have different challenges than the ones listed. It is important to
remember that everyone has strengths and talents. Use yours to help cope
with melanoma and its treatments. Maintain warm relationships with family and
friends. Make a list for them of things that would help you. Most people would be
happy to hear what you need. If you are a person of faith, your personal beliefs
and faith community can help. There are also professionals in mental health,
social work, and pastoral services who are able to assist you. You can also start
attending support groups to receive help from other cancer survivors.
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