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Cancer Health Center

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6 Things Marcia Cross Knows About Cancer

The actress advocates for cancer prevention but also has a personal connection to cancer – most recently learning about caregiving for her husband.


4. Be your own best advocate.

Remember, you are the expert of your own body -- you know when something doesn’t feel right. Similarly, you likely know your spouse and children better than any doctor ever could. “Doctors are trained to specialize,” says Cross. “Western medicine teaches them to look at the disease, or the single body part" as opposed to the big picture, the whole body in action. If you suspect something is wrong, speak up and don’t relent until you’re satisfied. And if you’re open to alternative approaches, explore them. Find the right treatment for you.

5. Be a good caregiver -- for yourself, too.

“When it comes to marriage ... there’s a ‘we,’ there’s a ‘him,’ and there’s a ‘you.’ And you can’t completely ignore your own needs,” says Cross. Teri Ades, APRN-BC, AOCN, director of cancer information at the American Cancer Society, couldn’t agree more. “It’s extremely important for caretakers to care for themselves,” Ades says. “Sometimes that means putting your own needs first” to prevent emotional and physical burnout.” For a list of caregiver resources, click here.

6. Don’t be afraid to get help.

A cancer diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience, both emotionally and physically, whether you are the patient or the caregiver. Support groups, online chat rooms, and one-on-one counseling can be important resources during difficult times. WebMD hosts several active online discussion groups for those undergoing cancer treatment as well as caregiverscoping with a loved one’s illness.

As a cancer advocate, Cross wants to educate as many people as possible about how to prevent a cancer diagnosis from ever occurring. What can you do to help? She invites you to email this article to your friends and family with this subject line: Fight Cancer Six Ways With Marcia Cross and WebMD.

Adapted from the cover story of WebMD the Magazine’s October 2009 issue. Read the complete story here.

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Reviewed on October 15, 2009

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