NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 83

83
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
Part 8: Accepting a treatment plan
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Definitions:
Cancer stage:
Rating of
the growth and spread of
cancer in the body
Clinical trial:
Research
on a test or treatment to
assess its safety or how
well it works
Lymph node:
Small
groups of special disease-
fighting cells located
throughout the body
Side effect:
An unplanned
physical or emotional
response to treatment
Treatment response:
Outcome or improvement
related to treatment
Stress and symptom control
Cancer or its treatment can cause bothersome symptoms. You may also have
symptoms from the stress of having cancer. Such symptoms include pain, sleep
loss, and anxiety. Helping you to be comfortable and stay active are key goals
of the treatment plan. There are ways to treat many symptoms, so tell your
treatment team about any symptoms you have so they can help.
Having cancer may cause you to feel helpless, fearful, alone, or overwhelmed.
There are ways to manage this stress. At your cancer center, cancer navigators,
social workers, and other experts can help. There may also be helpful
community resources, such as support groups and wellness centers.
Financial stress is common. You may be unemployed or miss work during
treatment. You may have too little or no health insurance. Talk to your treatment
team about work, insurance, or money problems. They will include information
in the treatment plan to help you control your finances.
Survivorship care
Cancer survivorship begins on the day you learn of having melanoma. For many
survivors, the end of active treatment signals a time of celebration but also of
great anxiety. This is a very normal response. You may need support to address
issues that arise from not having regular visits with your treatment team. Your
treatment plan should include a schedule of follow-up cancer tests, treatment of
long-term side effects, and care of your general health.
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