NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma

47 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Melanoma, 2018 4  Overview of melanoma treatments Radiation therapy Supportive care and symptom control The focus of this book is on cancer treatments. However, controlling treatment side effects is important for your quality of life. It is important that you are aware of and understand the possible side effects of each treatment you receive. Don’t wait to tell your treatment team about side effects. If you don’t tell your treatment team, they may not know how you are feeling. Supportive care is treatment given to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer and side effects of cancer treatment. It doesn’t treat the cancer itself. The goal of supportive care is to improve quality of life and relieve any discomfort you may have. Treating the side effects of cancer treatment, including those on the skin, may help a person to continue treatment and improve quality of life. Supportive care is an important part of the overall treatment for patients with cancer. It can address many needs. One example is treatment for physical and emotional symptoms. It can also help with treatment decisions and coordination between health care providers. You should also consider taking part in your hospital’s system for tracking and treating symptoms if available. This tracking system is called a REMS ( r isk e valuation and m itigation s trategy) program. Taking part in the REMS program is strongly recommended if you receive the immunotherapy drug ipilimumab. There are many ways to limit the problems caused by cancer treatment. However, listing all the ways is beyond the scope of this booklet. In general, changes in behavior, diet, or medications may help. Some examples include: • Wearing elastic stockings or sleeves to help prevent or control lymphedema • Medications to relieve pain • Exercise to help reduce fatigue